Apple, Google, Intel, And More Fail To Avoid Antitrust Suit, Trial Likely To Start June 2013

Apple, Google, Intel and four other tech giants failed to convince a judge to dismiss an antitrust suit brought against them. The suit alleges that the companies conspired against hiring each other’s employees and District Judge Lucy Koh in her decision said:

“The fact that all six identical bilateral agreements were reached in secrecy among seven defendants in a span of two years suggests that these agreements resulted from collusion, and not from coincidence,”

While Apple, Google, and Intel are the three largest firms in the suit, other major companies, including Adobe, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit are included.

The class-action lawsuit was started by five software engineers who accused the companies of conspiring to limit pay and job mobility by eliminating competition for labor.

A 2007 email trail involving the late Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt added further credence to the allegations. In the email Jobs writes to Schmidt regarding Google’s apparent effort to recruit an Apple engineer.

“I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this,” Jobs wrote Schmidt

Schmidt followed up by asking Google staff members if they could “get this stopped.” The employee responsible for trying to recruit the engineer was soon fired, with Google’s staffing director asking Schmidt to “Please extend my apologies as appropriate to Steve Jobs.”

None of this looks good for the 7 tech companies who will have to defend themselves when the trial begins in June 2013. Hopefully these revelations will put a stop to such practices and give engineers and developers the salaries and opportunities they deserve.