The longer the anti-poaching case goes on, the more evidence comes out that Steve Jobs was the ring-leader in organising and implementing the anti-poaching conspiracy.
The redoubtable Judge Lucy Koh, in rejecting the proposed $324 million settlement, said that Jobs was: “a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy.”
There’s been the notorious smiley face on an email from Jobs responding to the news that Google had sacked someone who tried to recruit from Apple.
And there’s been another email from Jobs saying that a proposed hiring by Google of a group from Apple would result in war. “If you hire a single one of these people, that means war,” wrote Jobs.
Uglier evidence is expected to be revealed if the case goes to trial.
Which it now may do.
Judge Koh described the $324 million proposed settlement as failing to fall “within the range of reasonableness.”
It turns out that the plaintiffs’ lawyers were going to take 25% of the $324 million as their fee which would have left $4000 for each of the 64,000 plaintiffs.
Judge Koh says there is “ample evidence” that Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe engaged in “an overarching conspiracy” against their employees.
So now, Apple, Intel, Google and Adobe have to come out with a bigger proposed settlement or fight the case in court and expose themselves to potential damages of $9 billion and the shredding of St Steve’s posthumous reputation.