Four tech giants–Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe–hope that they can settle a long-running class action lawsuit, by agreeing to pay a total of $415 million to avoid going to trial. The sum was revealed in a court filing yesterday.
The lawsuit itself is based on alleged illegal no-poaching agreements between some of tech’s biggest companies, which had the impact of artificially suppressing wages for 64,000 employees between 2005 and 2009.
Originally brought in 2011, the case initially also involved Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, although those companies agreed to pay a collective $20 million to settle early.
The case seemed sewn up last year, when Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe offered $324.5 million to end it, but presiding judge Lucy Koh rejected the offer on the basis that the plaintiffs deserved a bigger payout. Had the companies been found guilty, they could have been liable to pay up to $9 billion in court.
The companies continue to deny any wrongdoing, although a 2007 email correspondence between Apple’s late cofounder Steve Jobs and then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt made reference to a questionable “policy of no recruiting from Apple” on the part of Google.
Should the case be settled, counting the $20 million received from Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, the total amount payable to the plaintiffs will be $435 million.