Employee Anti-Poaching Agreements May Extend Far Beyond Apple and Google
Apple, Google and five other large technology companies were caught signing "no solicitation" agreements that prevented the companies from trying to hire away each others' employees. Court documents newly obtained by Pando Daily suggest these anti-poaching agreements extend far beyond this Silicon Valley seven.
According to these documents, over a dozen companies and as many as one million employees may have been affected by these secret hiring agreements.
Confidential internal Google and Apple memos, buried within piles of court dockets and reviewed by PandoDaily, clearly show that what began as a secret cartel agreement between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt to illegally fix the labor market for hi-tech workers, expanded within a few years to include companies ranging from Dell, IBM, eBay and Microsoft, to Comcast, Clear Channel, Dreamworks, and London-based public relations behemoth WPP. All told, the combined workforces of the companies involved totals well over a million employees.
Investigation into these wage-fixing deals focused on Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar, but other businesses such as NVIDIA, British cable company Virgin Media and even recruiting agencies were caught up in this net. Some of these other companies did not sign reciprocal non-solicitation agreements, but, instead, were added by Google and others to "Do Not Cold Call" or similar "Sensitive" company lists.
Google and Apple allegedly signed one of the first wage-fixing agreements in early 2005, with other companies following suit. The discovery of these agreements in 2009 initiated a Department of Justice investigation that resulted in the dissolution of these restrictive hiring deals. A subsequent class-action civil suit was filed in 2011 and is expected to go to trial in May.