Silicon Valley giants settle lawsuit over hiring

Four major Silicon Valley companies, including Apple and Google, settled a high-profile suit over charges that they conspired not to hire one another’s workers, according to a court filing. Technology employees filed a class-action lawsuit in 2011 against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe, saying the tech companies violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring for several years to suppress the pay of employees by agreeing to not poach employees from one another. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the plaintiffs had argued that the lost wages added up to $3 billion. Three smaller settlements with other defendants, including Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit, were reached last year for $20 million.

Initial jobless claims surge because of holiday

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits surged 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 last week, though the gain likely reflected temporary layoffs in the week before Easter. The Labor Department said that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile number, rose 4,750 to 316,750. The four-week average fell two weeks ago to its lowest level since October 2007, two months before the recession began. Applications can be volatile around Easter, because many school systems temporarily lay off bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other employees during spring break. Some of those workers file for unemployment benefits. Despite the volatility, applications for unemployment benefits have generally declined in recent months, a hopeful sign for the job market.

Zimmer to acquire Biomet in $13 billion deal

Zimmer Holdings agreed to acquire Biomet Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $13.35 billion, including debt. It will bring together two providers of orthopedic, surgical and dental products. The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, comes amid a wave of health care and pharmaceutical deals. This week, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline announced $20 billion in deals, and Valeant made a $45 billion hostile takeover bid for Allergan. It is also the latest successful exit for private equity. In 2007, Biomet was acquired for $11.3 billion by Blackstone, Goldman Sachs’s buyout group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG Capital.

Ladies’ Home Journal ending home delivery

Meredith Corp. is ending subscription service for Ladies’ Home Journal, one of the nation’s oldest women’s magazines, because of declining advertiser interest. The magazine, launched in 1883, remains popular, with a circulation of 3.2 million, according to Meredith. But with a median reader age of 57, it faces tough competition for advertisers amid a sea of other women’s magazines that appeal to a broader demographic. The magazine’s advertising pages fell nearly 17 percent last year, while ad revenue dropped 14 percent to $152.3 million, according to Publishers Information Bureau data. Meredith spokesman Art Slusark said the magazine’s July edition will be its final issue sent to subscribers. After that, the magazine will go to a quarterly format, available only at newsstands.