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Apple Sued by Shareholders Over Anti-Poaching Agreements with Other Companies

Applelogo.png Apple shareholder R. Andre Klein is suing Apple on behalf of all of its shareholders over the company's anti-poaching agreements, reports Patently Apple.

The lawsuit claims that Apple's no-hire agreements with other companies including Google, Adobe, and Intel caused the company to grossly mismanage its assets, mislead its investors, breach the duty of "honest services", and hurt its overall value. The suit seeks damages for all shareholders through a jury trial, and names a number of Apple executives as individual defendants including current CEO Tim Cook and even former CEO Steve Jobs.

The suit follows a rejection of a $324 million settlement proposal between the four tech companies and tech workers by a California court. In the filing's court documents, Judge Lucy Koh stated that the total settlement "falls below the range of reasonableness" when compared a $20 million settlement given last year by Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit. Comparatively speaking, Apple and others should pay a minimum of $380 million.

Employees of the various tech companies originally brought forth a lawsuit against the companies no-hire agreements in 2011, with a trial revealing anti-poaching tactics dating back to 2005. The United States Department of Justice intervened in the case in 2010, forcing the companies to stop engaging in anti-poaching agreements. However, the class-action civil lawsuit brought against the aforementioned companies by over 64,000 employees will remain open until a settlement has been reached.

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18 weeks ago

What a wanker.


Everybody wants some of that :apple: money.


I'm not sure if you've both been following this story, but this isn't a random lawsuit. The big companies all got together to stop them 'poaching' their other employees. This essentially means that if you were working for Apple, Google, or Adobe (to name a few) you couldn't get hired by the other company. There's even an email shown where Steve Jobs was going mad at Google over them trying to hire an Apple employee.

This severely screws over the hard-working employee. It means that they don't have an opportunity to work in another large tech company. It also means they don't have much to go on when negotiating for wage, because they're not going to be offered a job by their direct competitors.

It's evil, immoral, and shameful.
Rating: 16 Votes
18 weeks ago

Apple should come to realize that it is not above the law. I guess it sees paying a severel hundred million dollar fine as a cost of business to keep its talent from jumping ship to other tech companies.


Specious claims, as: "defendants' actions allegedly forced Apple to spend a huge amount on expenditures related to "years of lost opportunities to hire more qualified employees that were employed at other companies".
This is nothing but a claim based on...nothing, saying IF Apple could have poached, they would have been more profitable? Is that a crystal ball prediction? One could easily argue the opposite considering Apple's financial growth over a longer period.
Rating: 12 Votes
18 weeks ago
This is stupid. If you sue a company you partially own, you're essentially suing yourself.

If there's a settlement and Apple pays out 100 million to share holders, the company is suddenly worth 100 million less. The shareholders gain nothing.
Rating: 10 Votes
18 weeks ago
I love this.
And suing the company doesn't affect market value?!?

Just be honest, homie wants some money
Rating: 9 Votes
18 weeks ago
This is probably one of the worst things Steve Jobs was ever involved in. This was really bad and Apple deserves punishment.

And furthermore, as a shareholder, I can say that... It was the WORKERS who were harmed, not me. I don't deserve %^%] over this. This guy is a dope.
Rating: 8 Votes
18 weeks ago
What a wanker.
Rating: 7 Votes
18 weeks ago
Apple should come to realize that it is not above the law. I guess it sees paying a severel hundred million dollar fine as a cost of business to keep its talent from jumping ship to other tech companies.
Rating: 6 Votes
18 weeks ago

I'm not sure if you've both been following this story, but this isn't a random lawsuit. The big companies all got together to stop them 'poaching' their other employees. This essentially means that if you were working for Apple, Google, or Adobe (to name a few) you couldn't get hired by the other company. There's even an email shown where Steve Jobs was going mad at Google over them trying to hire an Apple employee.


You're close, but one crucial difference. You couldn't get RECRUITED by the other company, they couldn't say "I have a new position and George over at Apple would be great for it, let's see if he's interested." But if George hears about a new position and applies for it, or even does some networking "would you be interested in me if I was to apply for it", George can get the job.

And there's some background - there was a thing called predatory recruitment, where, having heard about a big new project at your competitor, you hire away the people working on the project to at least delay if not completely kill the project. They didn't want the employee, they just wanted to kill the project (and the employee soon discovered at the new place that he wasn't really wanted and promises implied weren't kept). This proved to be less than great for the employee, having left a solid job (and particularly if they moved to, oh to pick a place at random, Redmond WA).

Yes, it was still wrong. They deserved to lose that lawsuit. But it's neither as bad as some had stated nor came out of nowhere.

This lawsuit, however, by the shareholder, is a money grab. It may be a successful money grab - there were bad actions involved, it'll be a chance for the people on the jury to say "it was wrong" and the fact that they're compensating someone not hurt may not be important to them.
Rating: 6 Votes
18 weeks ago
Wow, as if shareholders haven't done enough damage to this country and people's lives already over the last twenty years or so. These are the folks responsible for outsourcing all of our jobs, putting immense pressure on companies for unrealistic results, and of course causing various amounts of grief for employees everywhere.

I hope apple wins this one.....
Rating: 3 Votes
18 weeks ago

I totally agree. And I agree Apple and the other companies should be sanctioned by the regulatory authorities and the workers concerned, as they have been (or are in the process of being).


That's already happened:

Justice Department Requires Six High Tech Companies to Stop Entering into Anticompetitive Employee Solicitation Agreements (http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/September/10-at-1076.html)

The article mentions a settlement that has to be approved by a court, but I haven't found an article that details what it entails.

There's also a separate announcement by the DoJ for a similar sanction against eBay.

There has been at least one settlement in regard to this issue, but it was for a class-action lawsuit by employees, not the DoJ. The settlement involving Apple was recently rejected by the judge as inadequate.

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Why isn't this handled by contract law through employment contracts?

Why in the hell do we need the feds to regulate how companies hire (or don't hire) employees?


In this case, the Department of Justice is enforcing federal anti-trust laws.
Rating: 3 Votes

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