US judge allows tech 'poaching' suit to proceed

April 19, 2012

A US judge has given a green light to a lawsuit charging Apple, Google, Pixar and other technology-driven firms with colluding to keep salaries in check by agreeing not to poach one another's software engineers.

District Court Judge Lucy Koh, in a decision released late Wednesday, rejected motions to dismiss a class-action lawsuit charging that high-tech companies in the and San Francisco areas conspired on "Do Not Call" lists to keep talent tethered.

The list of defendants includes , Pixar, Apple, , Intel, Intuit, and Adobe Systems, alleged to have participated in the scheme to refrain from hiring each other's employees.

Koh noted in her ruling that the suit was based on Department of Justice antitrust investigations that ended in 2010 with agreeing to change their ways without admitting any wrongdoing.

The DOJ concluded that "facially anticompetitive" agreements were made that "eliminated a significant form of competition" to the detriment of workers "who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities," according to court documents.

Agreements not to woo other companies' workers could prevent people from advancing careers and eased market pressure on employers to improve compensation overall, Koh reasoned.

"While these allegations concerning the labor market effects of cold calling remain to be proven, the court presumes these factual allegations to be true for the purposes of ruling on a motion to dismiss," the judge wrote.

"It is plausible to infer that even a single bilateral (do-not-call) agreement would have the ripple effect of depressing the mobility and compensation of employees of companies that are not direct parties to the agreement."

Explore further: Tech companies settle DOJ hiring inquiry

Related Stories

Tech companies settle DOJ hiring inquiry

September 24, 2010

(AP) -- The Justice Department has reached an agreement with six major Silicon Valley companies to settle allegations that they colluded to hold down payroll expenses by agreeing not to poach employees from each other.

Suit says tech titans fixed worker pay

May 5, 2011

A former Lucasfilm software engineer is suing the movie studio along with Silicon Valley technology titans for what he portrayed as a conspiracy to curb pay for workers.

Court lets Skyhook case against Google proceed

May 6, 2011

A Massachusetts judge has ruled that Skyhook Wireless Inc. can move ahead with its legal case against Google Inc., intended to bolster its claim that the Internet search giant interfered with Skyhook's business partnerships.

NY attorney general ends lawsuit against Intel

February 9, 2012

(AP) -- Intel Corp. is paying $6.5 million as part of a deal to terminate an antitrust lawsuit filed against the chip-maker by the New York attorney general's office.

Apple, Samsung chiefs to meet on patent disputes

April 17, 2012

The chiefs of iPhone-maker Apple and smartphone giant Samsung have agreed to meet in the coming months to try to resolve patent disputes before the matters go to trial, legal filings showed.

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.