Last month we reported a California federal judge rejected Apple and Google’s $324 million anti-poaching settlement deal for being too low. The tech companies have now resumed mediation discussions while simultaneously urging the Ninth Circuit to vacate the rejection of the settlement deal.
The proposed deal would have ended the high-profile antitrust class action against the conglomerates, which alleges that the companies secretly conspired to refrain from recruiting software engineers employed by their rivals and agreed to cap pay packages in order to prevent bidding wars. However, Judge Lucy Koh found the companies should have offered at least $55 million more to enable the class members to recover amounts proportionate to comparable settlement deals struck last year by the companies initially named in the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the four technology companies involved in the suit, which also includes Adobe and Intel, urged the Ninth Circuit to vacate the decision rejecting the proposed settlement. The tech giants claim Judge Koh committed a clear legal error by using “a benchmark formula that impermissibly substituted the court’s assessment of the value of the case for that of the parties who litigated the matter for more than three years.”
With the trial date set for April 9, 2015 and expected to last 17 days, this is definitely the antitrust case to watch.