U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh could reject a settlement put forward by Apple, Google, and two further companies following a lawsuit accusing Cupertino of participating in anti-poaching practices.
We first told you about the case in October last year, when it began accelerating towards a possible hearing: originally, Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar stood accused by former employees, and out of this selection, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar agreed to settle, paying a collective $20 million.
Leaving the “big fish” in the lawsuit behind, the departure of the three companies meant that Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel were facing a damages payout of $3 billion that could rocket up to as much as $9 billion under anti-trust laws. Following an appeal refusal, however, the four companies settled for a sum of $324 million — a far cry short of the $3 billion previously demanded by plaintiffs.
Naturally, not everyone was pleased with the result: Michael Devine (pictured above), one of the four plaintiffs listed in the suit, called the settlement “grossly inadequate” and demanded its rejection. Now, however, it seems Devine could get what he asked for.
Reuters explains that Judge Lucy Koh, the U.S. District Judge overseeing the settlement, is currently questioning the fairness of Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel’s $324 million proposal.
She is quoted as saying in court: “I just have concerns about whether this is really fair to the class.” Koh has yet to announce whether she’ll be approving the settlement or not — though of course, she did previously approve the aforementioned settlements for Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.
Devine helped put the companies’ proposed settlement into perspective some months ago:
As an analogy, if a shoplifter is caught on video stealing a $400 iPad from the Apple Store, would a fair and just resolution be for the shoplifter to pay Apple $40, keep the iPad, and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing. Of course not, nor is such a resolution appropriate in our case.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
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