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Apple and Steve Jobs estate sued over no-poaching pact

14 Aug 2014
Apple faces a legal challenge from a disgruntled shareholder

Apple and the estate of Steve Jobs are being sued by a shareholder over a no-poaching staff pact that the company made with other tech giants.

The companies have been facing legal action over this issue since 2011. A recent attempt to settle the case to the tune of £193.4m was rejected by US Judge Lucy Koh for being "unreasonable".

She said there was “ample evidence of an overarching conspiracy between the seven defendants”, which include Google and Adobe.

Now, Apple and Steve Jobs' estate are facing more legal action after a lawsuit was filed by shareholder R. Andre Klein on behalf of all Apple shareholders.

“While serving as chief executive officer and a director of Apple, Jobs personally spearheaded the unlawful anti-poaching agreements described herein, despite knowing or recklessly disregarding the fact that the agreements were unlawful and would expose Apple to significant liability and damages,” read the suit.

It continues: “Jobs’ conduct is a reminder that even widely respected businessmen can knowingly commit unlawful acts in the zealous pursuit of profits." Klein called for a trial by jury to hear the case and wants damages paid to shareholders, claiming the practices hindered Apple’s earning potential.

V3 contacted Apple for comment on the lawsuit but had received no reply at the time of publication.

Apple is already facing potentially sizeable legal action after four employees were given the right to take a case against the company to court over claims it failed to adhere to California labour laws. Around 20,000 employees could be affected.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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