Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, (L) in

Silicon Valley's tech giants aren't going to face that class action lawsuit over no-hiring deals, after all. Adobe, Apple, Google and Intel have all reached a settlement in the case, which would have otherwise headed to trial in late May. The terms of the deal haven't been revealed, but we wouldn't be shocked if a significant amount of cash traded hands. About 64,000 employees had wanted $3 billion in damages after their bosses reached under-the-table deals to avoid poaching each other's staff; while Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar settled last year for just $20 million in total, they're small by comparison.

Don't expect a fundamental change in direction, though. The companies are already required to let headhunters operate freely, so the settlement is more about compensation than establishing new recruiting policies. Still, this is good news for tech workers who may have been denied better careers and the bigger paychecks to match.

Update: Reuters hears from sources that the settlement amounts to $324 million. That's far lower than what staffers were looking for, but much higher than what we saw last year.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

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Silicon Valley giants settle class action suit over anti-poaching pacts (updated)