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 [Pixar, Intuit and LucasFilm have already settled] before more damaging revelations come out," writes Ames. The wage fixing cartel, which allegedly involved dozens of companies and affected one million employees, also reportedly stifled 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." Jobs, who Ames notes e-mailed only an evil 'smiley' to Apple’s head of HR in response to an e-mail from Google CEO Eric Schmidt informing Jobs that a Google recruiter had been fired to please him, was apparently viewed as one not to be trifled with. Asked by lawyers last year to describe Jobs' view on hiring in Silicon Valley, Google co-founder Sergey Brin responded, "I think Mr. Jobs' view was that people shouldn't piss him off. And I think that things that pissed him off were — would be hiring, you know — whatever."
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