Feeds

Silicon Valley wage collusion case will go to court

Judge Koh smacks down Google, Intel, Apple and Adobe

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.