back to article Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, settle employee-fiddling class action suit

A series of secret pacts among some of the biggest employers in Silicon Valley to cheat their staffers could turn out to be a rather expensive mistake, with Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe now agreeing to settle the antitrust class-action lawsuit out of court. "This is an excellent resolution of the case that will benefit class …

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Anonymous Coward

waiting for the next shoe to drop...

Ok, so now who is going to file the class action lawsuit on behalf of the many more tech employees whose salaries are derived from industry salary benchmarks that were skewed by this behavior? Count me in!

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Class action

The class members will each get a coupon for one year of free personal email. The lawyers will split the rest.

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Cash v Principles

Sometimes, I wish the prosecution would take a case all the way instead of opting for the "easy" way of "out of court" settlements.

Case law needs precedents and the Big Boys seem to manage to weasel out of setting "dangerous" precedents by effectively buying their own justice. Especially in the original case where the they basically bought a "not guilty" verdict.

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Re: Cash v Principles

Yes, that's how it works. Last week a department at Priceton U issued a paper saying, in effect, that the US had ceased to be a democracy because money could buy both politics and the law. The Supreme Court just presided over a decision to make the US an oligarchy just like China or Russia, by allowing unlimited individual political donations. Senators and representatives can now be bribed with billions of borrowed money.

The difference, of course, is that unlike China and Russia, the US is a heavily indebted oligarchy with a huge military and a lot of billionaires to support. This is going to end in tears before bedtime, which may be bedtime for civilisation.

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FAIL

@Arnaut the less

You are naive if you think individuals can't donate all they want. They just have to play legal games to do it. PAC's, Super Pac's, or controlling a major network.

It was the people outside the main stream media pointed out the Harry Reid was going to profit from the seizure of the Bundy ranch. Once that came out the Feds backed down.

The Supreme court ruling is just leveling the playing field. If you can't put your money behind your mouth you do not have freedom of speech.

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FAIL

Not that great a win

The class action included some 64,000 engineers

The "win" was for $300,000,000

Average payout will be under $5,000

Companies escape after only losing a bit of pocket change

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So do we get to see this list of 64000 unemployable people ??

"Hey, I see that you screwed your last company for your $5K share of this lottery win without having to demonstrate that you were actually impacted.

We find that opportunists don't fit in our employee culture: See ya!"

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Yet again...

I wish I worked for Google. (or Apple, Intel, or Adobe)

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Why would you settle?

?!?

They all clearly colluded, they are all guiltier than sin, ask the court to determine their liability.

Actually, I can see why the lawyers settled. $1 billion up front today with no appeals.

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Perhaps the lawyers for the plaintiffs were thinking about what the rest of San Francisco's citizens would think about this law suit. We are talking about a class of employees that have made oodles of money from stock incentives and who receive a salary much larger than the average citizen. Call it envy or whatever, but choosing a jury in this case would be fraught with potholes. On the other side of the political spectrum imagine trying to sell a high value verdict to a conservative who hates lawyers. Either way they could lose out, and both sides knew it. The settlement made the lawyers rich for less than 1/4 of the work that a jury case would have taken.

The employees got $5000 and a lot of headaches. One man in this class died, possibly from the stress caused in pursuing it. There really is no such thing as a free lunch unless you are at the top.

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Anonymous Coward

Time for the lawyers payday!

Ooooh! Let me guess the terms of the settlement!

$20,000,000 in hard cash for the lawyers in legal fees.

And a $50 adword credit, and $20 iTunes voucher for the victims?

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Anonymous Coward

paltry

The paltry settlement was before the plaintiffs won high stakes class status.

Settle when the bucks are a generic cup of brew, or be "proudly capitalistic" and settle later for a class action Starbucks. Not that it matters, 3 billion won't even show up in the annual report as a special item for the defendants.

Or maybe this would be a profit opportunity for the companies, they get a court provided black ball list in exchange for a few dollars. Even if that black ball is only a 10% salary ding, it is a big win for the proudly capitalistic companies-- that is 10% for the life of the employee, but only a one time expense to "buy" the list!! Wow, can I patent that process? Perverting the legal system, the proudly capitalistic American Way!

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It's time to make shareholders and top management responsible

The court should void all the stock and order the issuance of new stock issued to the members of the certified class.

After the current shareholders sue the top management and get 10 cents each, and top management gets to live in tent cities, that will change behavior. Nothing less than that will change things.

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Now I'm not a fancy big city economist, so I've deleted the lovely flawed economic model I had previously made in this place.

Let me instead ask a question: Is anyone eligible for jail time because of this? Why/Why not?

It seems to me that what these companies have done is in effect stealing. Now if I steal $10,000 from Apple, can I expect to get off with a fine (be it $10,000 or $100,000)?

Come to think of it, I probably could if I could pay 100k, but here another question arises; should I be able to get away with just paying a fine?

A fine - unless it's insanely massive, talking % of annual turnover - is unlikely to deter bad behaviour. Jailing executives for 5-10 years (and seizing assets) is - in my view - far more likely to deter bad behaviour.

In a country where others are jailed for years and years for petty thefts, why do these people get off without? (And I'd appreciate answers other than "Money, duuuuh!", cheers)

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Facepalm

Why not 65536

As it involves techies, the number should have been rolled up to 65536

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