Apple, Google, others fail to dismiss 'poaching' antitrust suit

Apple, Google, others fail to dismiss 'poaching' antitrust suit

Summary: A U.S. District Judge has rejected calls to dismiss an antitrust suit, after allegations were made that Apple, Google, and others colluded not to 'poach' each others' employees.


Apple, Google, and Intel, along with four other major technology companies, were court-ordered to face an antitrust lawsuit over claims they colluded not to 'poach' each others' employees.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh --- who had previously presided over Apple vs. Samsung patent cases --- rejected the companies' attempt to squash the case brought, reports Reuters.

Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are also subject to the antitrust suit.

A class action suit was brought by five software engineers, who accused the technology giants of conspiring to lower employee pay by removing competition for skilled labour.

An investigation by the U.S. Justice Dept. in 2010 led to the companies saying they will refrain from cold-calling employees of competing firms in efforts to hire them.

Reports suggest that the judge was not all too bothered with the practice of poaching each others' workers, more so "how it ties together," suggesting that the companies colluded in order to prevent the practice from continuing.

ZDNet's Chris Dawson noted, a "polite" email was sent in 2007 from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sent to then-Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, asking him to stop poaching Apple employees.

I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this,” Jobs email to Schmidt said.

In 2009, Apple and Google were said to have had an 'unofficial agreement' not to poach each other's employees, or at least while Eric Schmidt served on Apple's board. While no formal arrangement existed, it was noted at the time it could stifle competition among companies that rely on the best of the best in software engineering talent.


Topics: Security, Apple, Enterprise Software, Google, Intel

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  • The email is damaging

    Jobs and Schmidt should have just met for sushi and worked this out off the record.
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  • So this is antitrust

    but unions aren't? Aren't unions organizations who collude to fix labor prices and pressure other groups out of markets?
    • But hey, haven't you heard? Unions...

      ...are good for the people, not businesses, so much like for Apple, what is not ignored is generally immediately forgiven.
    • Unions can be good or bad just like everything else in the world.

      Unions began because jobs were so bad, so dangerous, and so low paying, it was essentially no different than slavery. Now we have unions. Some unions are corrupt. Some unions are bullies. Some unions should be made to go away. But not all of them. I worked for 9 years in the Teamsters Union. The job I had would have been a low paying and unappreciated position without the union. Because it was a union job, it was a good job. I was able to have benefits and start a family. (I work in food service, and it was the first job I had that provided health benefits to food service workers.)

      Do not condemn all unions just because a few got too big and powerful. Corporations don't care about employees at all, and without the unions the US would not have had the growth and high standard of living for average people that we experienced in the 20th century.