updated 12:30 pm EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Apple, Google, Intel, more to face trial
Judge Lucy Koh late Wednesday denied once more a motion to dismiss a lawsuit over anti-poaching deals. The group, which includes Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar, was told it still had to face allegations of violating federal and state antitrust laws. They may ultimately pay millions of dollars in claimed damages.
A potential class action, the lawsuit from five programmers asserts that the companies made unofficial deals that kept those at one company from actively trying to recruit at the other. The entire group wasn't necessarily speaking to each other, but evidence has shown agreements between Apple and Google as well as similar relationships.
Such deals are frowned upon in antitrust law as it both risks stifling competition by preventing a natural flow of talent as well as hurting the employees themselves. As their options for changed employment go down, workers are potentially denied pay increases, bonuses, and other incentives either for joining another company or as retention methods.
The ad hoc deals have since mostly, if not entirely, stopped. [via Reuters]