A court filing has today revealed that the estate of Apple’s late co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is being sued by one of the company’s shareholders, claiming that Apple misled investors and damaged the value of the company by “striking a controversial hiring agreement with other corporations”. As Patently Apple reports, court papers show that Apple violated the US Securities and Exchange Act by cutting deals with Google and other firms.
“Apple’s co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Steve Jobs (now deceased), and other Apple executives and directors entered into unlawful, anti-competitive non-solicitation agreements with executives at other companies, such as Adobe Systems (“Adobe”), Google, Inc. (“Google”), and Intel Corporation (“Intel”). Pursuant to these agreements, which violated United States antitrust laws, the Individual Defendants caused Apple to agree not to recruit the employees of other companies, and vice versa. In an order dated August 8, 2014 in In re High- Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-cv-2509 LHK (N.D. Cal.), the Honorable Lucy H. Koh rejected a proposed $324.5 million settlement as inadequate and unfair based in part on the strength of the evidence against Jobs.”
The plaintiff asserts claims under federal law for violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and under state law for breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services.
In 2009, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) also began investigating Apple’s hiring practices. However, despite the DOJ’s investigation Apple did not disclose to its shareholders the details of the DOJ’s investigation.
The class action case presented in today’s report was filed in the California Northern District Court, San Jose Office.