Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Against Apple, Google, and Others Goes To Trial
A lawsuit appeared that accuses Google, Apple, and various top Silicon Valley companies of driving down wages by agreeing not to hire each others employees can go to trial a judged ruled on Friday.
The case states that executives which has included former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Apple CEO Steve Jobs had agreed to not steal each others workers during a period of time between 2005 and 2009. This supposed agreement would violate state and federal anit-trust laws. Intel and Adobe systems were also some noteworthy names as defendants.
The similarities between the alleged agreement, along with the defendants information of them and other importance, provided the jury with enough evidence that a would make them decide if this was an overarching conspiracy, Judge Lucy Koh had written during a ruling Friday at the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.
A trial date has been set for May 27.
“These agreements were negotiated by a small group of intertwining high-level executives at the defendant firms,” Koh wrote.
During one moment, Jobs had contacted Google co-founder Sergey Brin and told him “If you hire a single one of these people that means war,” Koh wrote in her ruling.
Another example showed, Bill Campbell, Chairman of Intuit’s board of directors, had sent brin an email with the statement saying,“Steve Jobs called me again and is pissed that we are still recruiting his browser guy,” according to Friday’s ruling.
Intuit has since managed to settle with the plantiffs, along with other companies like Pixar and LucasFilm. Google, Adobe, Apple, and Intel did not immediately respond to the request for comment on Friday. Evidence has also appeared of the defendants sharing confidential compensation information even tho they all consider each other competitors for up coming talents Jude Koh wrote.
Further evidence has indicated that there may bee even more agreements between companies that are not even be a part of this case, Koh went on to say. For instance, Jobs had called Edward Colligan, former CEO at Palm, to request of him to join in as part of the anti-solicitation agreement and went as far as to threaten them with patent litigation against Palm if they refused, the ruling says.
An estimated amount of 64,000 technology workers will most likely be affected by this case, which had first been filed back in 2001 by five software engineers. A case management hearing was held on Thursday at San Jose, with both sides attorneys agreeing that progress was being made towards a possible settlement.