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Apple, Google Go On Trial For Wage Fixing On May 27 148

theodp writes: "PandoDaily's Mark Ames reports that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has denied the final attempt by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the class action lawsuit over hiring collusion practices tossed. The wage fixing trial is slated to begin on May 27. 'It's clearly in the defendants' interests to have this case shut down before more damaging revelations come out,' writes Ames. (Pixar, Intuit and LucasFilm have already settled.) The wage fixing cartel, which allegedly involved dozens of companies and affected one million employees, also reportedly affected innovation. 'One the most interesting misconceptions I've heard about the "Techtopus" conspiracy,' writes Ames of Google's agreement to cancel plans for an engineering center in Paris after Jobs expressed disapproval, 'is that, while these secret deals to fix recruiting were bad (and illegal), they were also needed to protect innovation by keeping teams together while avoiding spiraling costs.' Ames adds, 'In a field as critical and competitive as smartphones, Google's R&D strategy was being dictated, not by the company's board, or by its shareholders, but by a desire not to anger the CEO of a rival company.'"
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Apple, Google Go On Trial For Wage Fixing On May 27

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  • I am just simple. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @08:11PM (#46612301) Journal
    But is it really worth the virtually inevitable lawsuit for a company as successful as the defendants in this case to cheat the backbone of their operations out of a fair wage (because a fare wage is what the Carnies make) betting on the statistically improbable scenario that no law firm nowhere will pick the cause up for three quarters of the pie?
  • by theodp ( 442580 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @08:15PM (#46612319)

    After Google CEO Eric Schmidt informed Steve Jobs that a Google recruiter had been terminated for not-getting-with-the-do-not-poach-program, Jobs responded by e-mailing only an evil 'smiley' [] to Apple's head of HR.

  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @08:39PM (#46612431) Homepage

    This is just the tip of the iceberg in Silicon Valley wage fixing, discriminatory hiring, and age/gender discrimination. I would like to see the tech workers walk away with some big bags of cash since most of these companies are paying federal/state taxes in the USA. At least when the employees get paid it will benefit their local countries, states, and communities by re-patrioting some cash through taxation.

    To me this is just further proof that large companies can do whatever they want, ignore any laws they want, not pay taxes/wages, and ignore the "invisible hand of the market" [] any time they wish. The lawsuit will probably be dismissed on Tuesday when the court opens, I am sure someone is writing the check as you read this.

  • Neccesary? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @08:47PM (#46612477) Homepage

    Necessary to keep teams together? I don't think so. How about, maybe, paying well enough that people people aren't tempted to jump ship in the middle of a project? Or putting people under contract instead of having them be at-will employees? Sure you can't just fire them any time you want (unless you've got good cause, like failure to do their jobs), but you don't have to worry about losing them at any time either.

    These hiring collusions aren't necessary to keep employees. They're only necessary to keep employees without the company doing anything to actually keep employees.

  • Re:No proof so far (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @08:49PM (#46612487) Homepage

    It all depends on how much lawyer you can afford. This agreement is "likely illegal" and definitely shady. I would say this classifies as a cartel [] since 7 major tech companies are involved. An anti-poach agreement might be legal between two companies like Ford and GM, but not an seven. There are also possible federal anti-trust, anti-competition, anti-labor, and collusion charges which could be brought as well, but that won't happen since none of these companies did anything nearly as (sic) horrible as Aaron Swartz [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 29, 2014 @11:55PM (#46613083)

    I second that.

    And I'm sure a LOT of others do too.

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