Four major Silicon Valley companies have formally agreed to pay $US324.5 million to settle claims brought by employees accusing them of colluding not to poach each other's talent.
The settlement between Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems and roughly 64,000 workers has been disclosed in papers filed with the federal court in San Jose, California, on Thursday.
Filed in 2011, the lawsuit accused Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to limit competition and keep wages down for engineers, programmers and other technical staff.
US District Judge Lucy Koh has been asked to preliminarily approve the accord at a 19 June hearing, over an objection by one of the four named plaintiffs, Michael Devine, who says the settlement let the companies off too easily.
The agreement gives workers only a few thousand dollars each on average. The companies' combined profit in their latest fiscal years was about $US60 billion, with three-fifths coming from Apple.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs may seek up to 25 percent of the settlement amount in legal fees.
The case has been closely watched because of the potential $US9 billion of damages sought, and its occasional embarrassing revelations into how Silicon Valley operates.
Among the communications that became public were pointed emails from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that at times admonished then-Google chief executive Eric Schmidt to stop raiding his company.