Apple, Google offer $415 million to settle antipoaching suit

Four Silicon Valley companies — including Apple and Google — have agreed to pay $415 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit that accused the companies of conspiring not to hire away each other’s employees.

The proposed settlement, which also includes Intel and Adobe Systems, was revealed in a motion filed by the companies Thursday in US District Court in San Jose, Calif. The settlement offer — the second presented in the case — is $90.5 million more than a previous offer that was rejected by a federal judge.

In the motion, which still requires court approval, the defendants continued to deny that they had engaged in any wrongdoing or violated any law.

“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,” Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said in an emailed statement. “We elected to settle the matter in order to avoid the risk, burdens and uncertainty of ongoing litigation.”

Apple and Google declined to comment, while Adobe did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in 2011 by former employees, accused the Silicon Valley giants of carrying out an “interconnected web” of agreements to keep wages low by not hiring each other’s workers between 2005 and 2009. The lawsuit has garnered much attention for the intimate look it has provided into the inner workings and apparent cooperation among some of the Valley’s biggest companies.

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