Intuit (INTU) has become the third company to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging its top executives were part of a Silicon Valley conspiracy to not poach workers from rival tech companies, according to a letter filed Tuesday with the federal judge overseeing the case.
Lawyers for employees who sued over the anti-poaching allegations informed U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the pact in a brief letter. The letter did not disclose the terms of the settlement with Intuit, which has now joined Lucasfilm and Pixar in resolving their part of the long-running legal battle.
Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC), Google (GOOG) and Adobe (ADBE) remain as defendants in the case, and there is no indication those valley powerhouses have settled. The case is set to go to trial next year.
The lawsuit alleges that by agreeing to not poach from rivals' work forces, the companies doused competition, costing tens of thousands of employees a chance to jump to more lucrative jobs in the valley's competitive job market.
The companies are accused of cutting deals with each other to not raid employees, particularly in the engineering ranks. In previous orders, Koh has indicated the employees have presented strong evidence that top executives, including late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, had side assurances to steer clear of raiding rival work forces.
The companies have repeatedly denied the allegations, which mirror an antitrust case they've already settled with the U.S. Justice Department.
Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz