The giants of Silicon Valley have bowed to their employees and settled an antitrust case brought against them over back-room deals to not hire from each other. The settlement, first reported by Reuters, brings to an end a legal battle that could have cost Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe billions of dollars and dragged them publicly into court. The terms of the deal were no disclosed.

Documents revealed in the course of investigation showed that the four companies had arranged secret deals to avoid hiring employees away from each other. The practice meant that the companies would not have to worry about their employees being poached, but it also had an impact on what employees could get for pay (thanks to reduced competition for their services). Additionally, some found it difficult to get jobs at competing firms thanks to these agreements so long as they were employed by a company party to the deal.

The settlement means that Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel will avoid going to court. The trial had been scheduled to begin in May. As a class action suit, approximately 60,000 employees would have qualified for a pay-out.

Source: Reuters