Employee Anti-Poaching Agreements May Extend Far Beyond Apple and Google

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple, Google and five other large technology companies were caught signing "no solicitation" agreements that prevented the companies from trying to hire away each others' employees. Court documents newly obtained by Pando Daily suggest these anti-poaching agreements extend far beyond this Silicon Valley seven.

    According to these documents, over a dozen companies and as many as one million employees may have been affected by these secret hiring agreements.
    Investigation into these wage-fixing deals focused on Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar, but other businesses such as NVIDIA, British cable company Virgin Media and even recruiting agencies were caught up in this net. Some of these other companies did not sign reciprocal non-solicitation agreements, but, instead, were added by Google and others to "Do Not Cold Call" or similar "Sensitive" company lists.

    Google and Apple allegedly signed one of the first wage-fixing agreements in early 2005, with other companies following suit. The discovery of these agreements in 2009 initiated a Department of Justice investigation that resulted in the dissolution of these restrictive hiring deals. A subsequent class-action civil suit was filed in 2011 and is expected to go to trial in May.

    Article Link: Employee Anti-Poaching Agreements May Extend Far Beyond Apple and Google
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    This wouldn't have happened if Steve was still... oh, wait.
  3. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    wonder how some will try to spin this.

    perhaps it worked out best for us consumers as prices were kept lower.
  4. HurtinMinorKey macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2012
    Now these employees know what it feels like to be a NCAA div 1 football/basketball player.
  5. wiz329 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Why on earth does this kind of thing take 5 YEARS to go to trial?
  6. DipDog3 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2002
    Just imagine what wages could have been if they weren't being held artificially low by these agreements...
  7. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    I actually agree with Gruber who tweeted that this probably wouldn't have happened under Tim Cook.
  8. gnipgnop macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2009
    Emblematic of the corporate age we're living in. At the same time that people who have a hard time finding jobs are being told to "go back to school and get a skill that's in demand", the people that have those "in demand" skills are having their wages systematically suppressed by some of the world's largest and most profitable companies.
  9. brianvictor7 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 24, 2013
    Midwest, US
    We have no reason to believe that Tim didn't know about it. Or did know, I suppose.
  10. macnchiefs macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2009
    I'm not an employee of any of those companies but i can't imagine being held back by some handshake agreement in the background. Would have so incredibly frustrating if you were looking to make a change and work for a new company.
  11. brock2621 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2007
    I don't get all bent out if shape on this honestly. Is it not logical that the highest net worth company pay it's major employees the highest? They all helped make it the highest net worth company and are rewarded for it. I dunno, maybe I'm crazy...
  12. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    and what do you or gruber have to back that up? what changes has cook made that differentiates him from jobs with regards to issues like this?

    if not for the recent book and possible downturn under cook i doubt anyone would make such a baseless claim.
  13. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Cabin by a lake
    No spin necessary. The facts speak for themselves.

    Being cold called is a time honored way to advance in this field, especially monetarily.

    Without cold calling, there's also no way to know that a company you'd like to work for, has an opening for an upcoming secret project that fits your skills. (Think iPhone.)

    Right, because companies like Apple lowered their prices due to paying lower wages.


    As for Cook, Apple claimed that he wouldn't have known anything as COO.

    Judge Koh responded that she found it "hard to believe a COO would have no say over salary and compensation for all employees".
  14. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    you sure you did not misunderstand my post?

    the second line was a possible spin and not my opinion. in fact its an almost exact copy of one in the thread about the uk VAT.

    but in answer to your last line and playing devils advocate we dont know what would have been if not for this agreement.

    as for what cook would know. he wasnt just a coo. he was the eventual replacement for jobs who had been diagnosed with cancer.
  15. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    I don't have anything specific. Just a feeling that Cook is more likely to play by the book and not do shady things.
  16. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    fair enough i guess.

    i would point to the ota ios7 download but perhaps that would not be classified as shady by some.
  17. tasset macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2007
    There's "paying major employees the highest", and then there's paying them such ungodly sums at the expense of hundreds or thousands of lower level engineers. It's pretty hard to justify paying those amounts to the high profile execs and then turn into Scrooge McDuck when it's time to pay others. It's analogous to the individual who buys a $700 iPhone and then hems and haws whether that $1.99 is worth it or should wait for it to go free.
  18. Tknull macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2011
    San Diego
    I assume they will just switch and start forcing employees to sign non-compete type agreements where the employee, by accepting the job, agrees not to accept a job for some specified number of years with any of those partner companies. Are non-complete clauses still considered valid?
  19. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    If these companies don't want a wages war, they can just NOT poach employees from rivals & other companies by offering them higher salaries.
    No one is forcing them to do so.

    They just can't create an explicit agreement limiting the employability/careers of their employees, particularly without their knowledge or consent.
  20. Radio macrumors 68000

    Mar 5, 2012
    Central California
    i dont get it...

    i thought apple corp were angels :(
  21. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    re: 5 years?

    I'm sure a big part of the problem was actually uncovering enough hard evidence that these things were taking place.

    The companies involved were keeping it secret, after all. If you worked for a competitor and never got a phone call trying to hire you away, why would you automatically assume, "This must be because they have a secret rule in place preventing people there from contacting me!" ??

    Companies have been issuing "non compete" paperwork to new hires in I.T. for ages though.... so overall, it's not really anything new. The "twist" is that they did it on the company side of things, internally, vs. you agreeing as the EMPLOYEE not to go elsewhere in writing.

  22. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Did that not happen with previous versions of iOS? My guess is that's something Tim Cook didn't know about/make the call on.
  23. BSDanalyst macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    This kind of practice has been ongoing in wall street decades ago.
  24. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Mmm.... yeah, but I'd also say ....

    ...the people who are secretly getting locked into staying with the company they're at, because the company perceives them as that valuable AREN'T at that level due to their formal education. At least not in the tech. sector.

    There's a big difference between having "in demand" skills, according to your college or university and a diploma, and being brilliant enough to do amazing things with those skills.

    Truth be told, most of the really top-notch people I've met in I.T. either accomplished what they did without a college degree (or at least without one in the field), or the degree was more of a hoop to jump through, just so they could get past "gatekeepers" in H.R. when trying to apply for jobs.


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