Execs' e-mails key in employee no-poaching lawsuit, judge says

E-mails reveal that executives from Apple and Google have seen a significant financial benefit to a mutual agreement not to recruit employees from each other, a federal judge said today.

The comments came against a lawsuit filed by five former employees of various high-tech companies, alleging that illegal conspiracy to eliminate competition for talent. The lawsuit, filed in 2011, accuses Apple, Adobe Systems, Google, Pixar, Intuit and Intel of conspiracy to keep workers' wages artificially low.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who ask if the status of the class action lawsuit price, also ordered Apple CEO Tim Cook to be interviewed by the plaintiffs' lawyers for four hours, according to a report from Reuters . Koh said that the biggest challenge for the defendants was their belief that the collective approach to hiring was the most effective.

CNET contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

An unredacted court filing in January 2012 described an e-mail exchange between late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, then CEO of Google and Apple board member Eric Schmidt, in which jobs demand politely Schmidt to stop trying to rent one of Apple engineers. "I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this," Jobs wrote to Schmidt on March 7, 2007.

According to the exchange in detail in the filing, Schmidt then sent the request, saying: "I think we have a policy of no recruiting from Apple and it is a direct request input. Can you get this stopped and let me know why this happens? I need to send a response to Apple quickly so please let me know as soon as you can. '

The exchange led to the immediate firing of the recruiter who tried to hire the engineer in question, with the Director of Personnel Google rewrite "Please extend my apologies as appropriate to Steve Jobs "and noting that it was" an isolated incident. "

The suit focuses specifically on companies covered by an antitrust investigation in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Justice. This investigation and the civil trial that followed, were settled back in September 2011, with the aforementioned companies willing to put an end to non-solicitation agreements. However, the prosecution states that companies are still enjoying after practice .......
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