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Disney, Pixar Settle Animator Antitrust Row For $100M


February 1, 2017

The Walt Disney Co., Pixar and Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC have agreed to a $100 million deal that would settle allegations in a class action that they perpetuated a “no poach” agreement with other companies over the hiring of animators, according to a filing in a California federal court on Tuesday.

Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm, along with Two Pic MC LLC, agreed to pay the money to settle allegations that they violated federal and state antitrust and unfair competition laws by entering into agreements with other companies in the animation industry to not poach one another’s employees and by sharing compensation information with the aim of depressing wages, according to the proposed settlement agreement.

Animators would receive a prorated share of the money, based on their individual compensation during the class period compared to the total compensation during the period by all members of the class, according to the settlement, which must be approved by the Northern District of California.

The settlement would represent the last deal in the class action, with Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc. already agreeing to settle the claims for $50 million and other defendants, including Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. subsidiary Blue Sky Studios Inc. and Sony Pictures Corp. units Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. and Sony Pictures Animation Inc., agreeing to settle for a combined $19 million, according to court documents.

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The animators are represented by Jeff D. Friedman, Shana E. Scarlett, Steve W. Berman and Jerrod C. Patterson of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Marc M. Seltzer, Matthew R. Berry, Elisha Barron, Steven G. Sklaver and John E. Schiltz of Susman Godfrey LLP, and Daniel A. Small, Brent W. Johnson, Jeffrey B. Dubner and Daniel H. Silverman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

Read Disney, Pixar Settle Animator Antitrust Row For $100M.