Residents of Baton Rouge likely use Apple and Google products often in their everyday lives. These technology giants are among a number of tech companies listed in a class action lawsuit which may have recently been settled for a mind boggling $415 million. The staggering settlement amount, if approved, will be in addition to another settlement that was reached by the same companies for another $20 million, though that case was brought on by a different set of defendants.

The companies initially offered a settlement amount of $324.5 million but that offer was rejected by the judge presiding on the case. The judge reasoned that the settlement amount was much too low and was not commensurate with the number of technology workers that were affected by the case. She went on to state in her ruling that the settlement amount offered was below the range of reasonableness. The two other companies are also named in the lawsuit were Intel and Adobe.

The business litigation was initiated in 2011 by technology workers who allege that the companies named in the lawsuit were complicit in breaking antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress workers’ salaries between 2005 and 2009. Emails between the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, and former CEO of Google exposed agreements where they both agreed to not recruit or hire each other’s employees.

As part of the settlement the companies agreed to not enter to any agreements of this nature. A spokesperson for Intel insisted that they did not break any laws but have decided to settle the matter and be done with it rather than face years of ongoing and costly litigation. When business disputes of this nature arise, sometimes companies will conclude that avoiding costly litigation is preferable to engaging in a long-term corporate dispute. An experienced business litigation legal team can help business owners decide if it is indeed more beneficial to settle and, if so, how to navigate the process effectively.

Source: USA Today, “Apple, Google settle hiring case for $415 million,” Jessica Guynn, Jan. 15, 2015