A California federal judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss
accusations that the late Steve Jobs had orchestrated a series of
uncompetitive agreements between Apple Inc., Google Inc., and other
tech companies to not poach each other's engineers.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh flatly rejected the tech giants'
argument that the proposed class action should be tossed because
the engineers had failed to show that six bilateral agreements
represented an "overarching conspiracy."
"It strains credulity that Apple and Adobe reached an agreement
in May 2005 that was identical to the ... agreement Pixar entered
into with Lucasfilm in January 2005 without some communication or
coordination between these two sets of defendants," the judge said.
"The identical nature of the six secret bilateral agreements
further supports the plausible inference that the agreements were
negotiated, reached and policed at the highest levels of the
"It is plausible to infer that even a single bilateral agreement
would have the ripple effect of depressing the mobility and
compensation of employees of companies that are not direct parties
to the agreement," Judge Koh wrote.
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