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Apple and others reach settlement agreement in anti-poaching class action suit

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The anti-poaching class action lawsuit that embroiled a number of high profile tech companies has come to an end. The New York Times reports that Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe all reached settlement agreements with the plaintiffs party to the dispute.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the plaintiffs had argued that the lost wages added up to $3 billion. Three smaller settlements with other defendants, which included Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit, were reached last year for $20 million.

"This is an excellent resolution of the case that will benefit class members," Kelly M. Dermody, a lawyer at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, the plaintiffs' legal team, said in a statement. "We look forward to presenting it to the court and making the terms available."

If you recall, Apple and slew of other tech companies entered into anti-poaching agreements from 2005 through 2009 whereby parties to the agreement all agreed not to recruit employees from one another.

The class action suit was subsequently brought forth by five software engineers in 2011 who alleged that the anti-poaching agreements minimized their job prospects and ultimately worked to compress employee salary rates in Silicon Valley.

The lawsuit made headlines many times over, often because filed court documents relayed interesting email exchanges between some of tech's most high-powered executives. For instance, some emails revealed that Steve Jobs at one point intimated that Apple might sue Palm if Palm didn't agree to stop recruiting Apple employees. In another instance, emails revealed that Steve Jobs angrily called Google co-founder Sergey Brin over Google's efforts to recruit Safari employees.

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