updated 01:14 pm EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Jobs' personality a potential controversy
Plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, and two other companies are asking that evidence related to Apple CEO Steve Jobs be included in the case, Reuters reports. The case revolves around the anti-poaching agreements Apple and Google -- and later, other high-tech businesses -- forged to keep salaries low and talent in place. The accused parties settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, agreeing to end barriers to competitive hiring.
The plaintiffs argue that all evidence relating to the companies' activities-- including documents that might cast a shadow on Jobs' character -- should be permitted. "That the jury might draw conclusions about Mr. Jobs' character based on evidence showing the manner in which he pursued the conspiracy at the heart of this case is not grounds to exclude such evidence," a new filing reads. The plaintiffs also want to highlight the outcome of the DoJ investigation, and the wealth of executives like Google co-founder Sergey Brin, contending that they could've personally benefited by keeping down expenses.
A trial is scheduled to begin in May, should current settlement efforts fail. Emails exposed in pre-trial proceedings have been damning of Apple and Google, revealing statements that eventually led to a broad set of anti-poaching policies. Events appear to have been set in motion by Jobs, who made "irate" calls to Brin over the possibility of Google hiring people from Apple's Safari development team.