SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple, Google, Intel, Pixar and other high-tech companies will face an antitrust lawsuit that alleges they illegally conspired not to poach each other’s staffers.
San Jose U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh rejected a motion to dismiss the claims Wednesday night. In a 29-page opinion, she ruled that the “Do Not Cold Call” agreements among the defendants probably resulted “from collusion, and not from coincidence.”
Other defendants include Adobe, Intuit, and Lucasfilm.
Five software engineers have accused the companies of conspiring to limit pay and job movement. They are bringing the proposed class-action lawsuit.
The claims are similar to those raised by the U.S. Department of Justice. It settled an antitrust probe in 2010 that alleged the companies colluded to keep a lid on wages by agreeing not to poach employees from one another. The companies agreed not to restrain competition in the labor market for high-tech talent.
The litigation uncovered an email from 2007 from Apple’s Steve Jobs to Google’s Eric Schmidt over Google’s effort to recruit an Apple engineer.