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Apple and Google Willing to Settle Antitrust Lawsuit

Apple and Google reportedly were willing to offer no less than $415 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit.

This is all linked to a case in which four Silicon Valley giants are accused of conspiring not to hire employees from each other. The four companies involved in this case have agreed to pay this impressive sum of money to settle the case. The settlement was revealed in a motion that the companies filed.

Actually, this is the second settlement proposal made by the famous companies. This new offer features a sum of $90.5 million more than the previous offer, which was rejected by a judge. Although the companies seemed eager to reach a settlement, they did not admit the fault.

In fact, they claimed that they did not engage in any wrongdoing and they never violated the law.
The four companies involved in the case are Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. Only a rep for Intel commented on the claims. "We deny the allegations contained in the suit and we deny that we violated any laws or that we have any obligation to the plaintiff," he said. "We elected to settle the matter in order to avoid the risk, burdens and uncertainty of ongoing litigation."

Antitrust lawsuit filed in 2011

Apple and Google Willing to Settle Antitrust Lawsuit
The case was initially filed in 2011, by former employees of these companies. They claimed that the giants have a form of agreement to not hire people who have worked for the other.

The agreements were made to be able to keep wages low and make people stay, despite of the salaries. The lawsuit has become of great interest, showing a practice between Silicon Valley companies that maybe no one suspected.

The first settlement offer made on the case was of $324.5 million to the plaintiffs, but the sum was considered too low by a judge, being rejected.

The court fillings have brought to light a series of interesting information. For instance, in 2012, a document was presented in court on the conversation between late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt, who was the CEO of Google at that time.

In the email Jobs asks Schmidt to stop trying to hire one of the engineers at Apple. "I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this," his email said.

The email exchange continued with an answer from Eric Schmidt. "I believe we have a policy of no recruiting from Apple and this is a direct inbound request. Can you get this stopped and let me know why this is happening? I will need to send a response back to Apple quickly so please let me know as soon as you can," his email said.
When the case was filed in court back in 2011, a former software engineer working for Lucasfilm claimed that seven companies have conspired with the purpose to maintain wages low.

These companies avoided to poach each other's employees. Then, many other similar complaints were made public, revealing the practice that the seven companies had for them to gain bigger profits.

 The $415 million settlement was first disclosed on January 13, although no details have been released at this point. However, for the settlement to be final, the judge has to approve it. It is yet to see if this will happen, having under consideration that the previous agreement was not approved.

Initially, the judge claimed that the companies should pay at least $380 million, having under consideration the evidence of antitrust violations and the damages that a trial would have caused to the tech giants.

"The court concludes that the remaining defendants should, at a minimum, pay their fair share as compared to the settled defendants, who resolved their case with plaintiffs at a stage of the litigation where defendants had much more leverage," the judge claimed.
The person who was most blamed for these violations was Steve Jobs, although Eric Schmidt and Bill Campbell share at least part of the blame.

However, the judge assigned on the case, claimed that substantial evidence reveals that the central figure in the conspiracy has been the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.

A decision on this case is expected to be revealed as soon as the judge will express an opinion on the settlement reached at this point. 
Apple and Google Willing to Settle Antitrust Lawsuit Reviewed by Mike Beasley on 6:29 PM Rating: 5
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