Four tech firms in Silicon Valley allegedly conspired to block their employees from seeking better opportunities elsewhere. They are Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe. There are 64,613 defendands, all software engineers. Here is background on the class action lawsuit, when there were six defendants.
One of the plaintiffs who got the ball rolling on this lawsuit - Brandon Marshall - is dead. Somehow he wound up behaving in an aberrant manner and had a confrontation with law enforcement. He was shot in the chest. His supporters speculate that he was stressed out from being associated with legal action taking on such powerful companies. Here is THE NEW YORK TIMES coverage of this aspect of the lawsuit.
Many expect the defendants to settle. The trial would take place next month. Its timing is not good. Rather than representatives of progress for mankind, some tech companies are beginning to be viewed as pernicious forces. For example, the Google bus was attacked. There is fear of the power of a corporation like Google.
As we are quite aware, testimony during the trial could disclose the internal workings of tech companies and the values of their players. The late Steve Jobs could wind up with a tarnished halo. But worst of all, rather than being an ultimate meritocracy, the tech sector could be shown to be a field force which holds back talent to increase its own profits.
It will be interesting to see if the plaintiffs accept a settlement and the terms and conditions of that agreement. Likely it would total billions of dollars.