Tech's big names have to fight poaching suit

A US judge has told the big names in technology that they are going to have to defend their anti-staff poaching rules in court.

The lawsuit claims that Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Pixar, Intuit and Lucasfilm have violated antitrust laws by entering into agreements not to recruit each other’s employees.

According to Bloomberg,  US District Judge Lucy Koh said even if she dismisses some claims against the tech companies she will give the plaintiffs a chance to amend their complaint and re- file it.

She said that the antitrust claim was strong enough for her not to want to see any obstruction on discovery.

The case is a private lawsuit brought on behalf of employees that mirrors claims the companies settled with the US Justice Department in 2010.

Koh has questions about “how it ties together,” or claims of an over-arching conspiracy between all the companies and wants the defendants to produce documents describing the agreements and allow lawyers to take depositions.

That way the laywers suing get to see what is really happening. If the case is proven then damages in the case could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

While the DoJ accord may have exposed defendants’ illegal antitrust violations and put an end to them, the agreements did not provide any compensation to the employees the defendants harmed, the lawyers pointed out.