Feeds

Silicon Valley wage collusion case will go to court

Judge Koh smacks down Google, Intel, Apple and Adobe

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Silicon Valley companies will be lining up in front of Judge Lucy Koh to defend themselves over their notorious anti-poaching agreements at the end of May, after the judge denied their attempt to have the case tossed out.

Judge Koh has slapped down the attempt by Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe seeking summary judgement in the case, in a decision posted here at Scribd.

The judge notes that the plaintiffs “have presented sufficient evidence that tends to exclude the possibility that Defendants acted independently” regardless of whether or not there is “a plausible and justifiable reason for their conduct that is consistent with proper business practices”.

In the decision, Judge Koh notes that the agreements reached as far as Pixar and Lucasfilm, while “Google maintained an explicit do-not-cold-call list that grouped Apple, Intel, and Intuit together”.

Sheeting the collusion home to executives like Eric Schmidt and the late Steve Jobs, Koh lists a litany of incidents including Schmidt terminating a recruiter “within the hour” for calling an Apple engineer, and Jobs calling Intuit's Bill Campbell, “pissed that we are still recruiting his browser guy”.

The decision also outlines evidence that the companies shared confidential information about pay scales for engineers, which would help them deal with the way that Google in particular was seen as driving up Silicon Valley salaries.

Not everybody took part in the no-hire agreement: last week, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg said the social network rebuffed Google's approaches.

“The similarities in the various agreements, the small number of intertwining high-level executives who entered into and enforced the agreements, Defendants’ knowledge about the other agreements, the sharing and benchmarking of confidential compensation information among Defendants and even between firms that did not have bilateral anti-solicitation agreements, along with Defendants’ expansion and attempted expansion of the anti-solicitation agreements constitutes evidence, viewed in the light most favourable to Plaintiffs, that tends to exclude the possibility that defendants acted independently, such that the question of whether there was an overarching conspiracy must be resolved by a jury,” the decision states.

Judge Koh's decision means the lawsuit should commence on May 27. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?