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Apple, Google Appeal Rejection of $324.5M Anti-Poaching Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO - Four tech companies including Apple and Google appealed the rejection of a proposed $324.5-million settlement in a lawsuit over hiring practices in Silicon Valley, according to a court filing from the companies late on Thursday. Plaintiff tech workers accused Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe of conspiring to avoid poaching each other's employees. Last month, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California rejected the proposed class action settlement, saying the amount was too low. The companies said on Thursday that they had asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule Koh's decision.

Adobe declined to comment. Plaintiff lawyers, as well as representatives for the other three firms, could not immediately be reached for comment. Tech employees alleged that the conspiracy limited their job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries. The case, filed in 2011, has been closely watched because of the possibility of big damages being awarded and for the opportunity of a glimpse into the world of some of America's elite tech firms. A hearing before Koh is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Image: Google and Apple logos
A class-action lawsuit alleged Google and Apple secretly agreed not to recruit each other's engineersAFP / AFP - Getty Images

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— Reuters