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Disney Settles Antitrust Suit Over Recruiting From Rivals

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Units of Walt Disney Co., the world’s largest theme-park operator, tentatively settled a lawsuit alleging they violated U.S. antitrust law by agreeing with competitors not to recruit one another’s employees.

Animation studio Pixar and visual-effects specialist Lucasfilm Ltd. told U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, they agreed to settle all claims, according to court papers filed July 12.

“The parties anticipate completing documentation of the proposed settlement and presenting it for the court’s consideration in the near future,” plaintiffs’ lawyers said in a letter to Koh.

A group of high-tech employees sued the companies complaining that industry agreements not to pursue cross-hires amounted to a conspiracy “to fix and suppress the compensation of their employees,” according to an amended complaint filed on Sept. 13, 2011.

Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for Burbank, California-based Disney, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail and a voice-mail message seeking comment on the settlement.

The case is In Re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, 11-cv-02509, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net

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