Seven Companies Including Pixar, Google, and Lucasfilm Facing Legal Action for Violating Antitrust Laws
Seven companies — including Pixar, Lucasfilm, Google, and Apple — have been named in a lawsuit claiming that agreements not to recruit each other’s employees are in violation of antitrust laws. The judge for the case says that while the agreements by the individual companies aren’t really the problem, she’s wondering if there’s some sort of conspiracy going on that will hamper competitiveness in the marketplace. And now, a post about antitrust law written by someone who knows absolutely nothing about antitrust law, in case that wasn’t obvious already.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the seven companies in question might have violated antitrust law by writing up agreements not to recruit employees from each other. But the problem is that the companies may have been working together on this. And according to Wikipedia, this kind of agreement is illegal because it creates a situation in which individuals are not allowed to receive job offers from one of these highly successful companies. In other words, these company-written agreements state that their competitors cannot poach each other’s employees. And that kind of thing stands in the way of competitiveness in the marketplace.
I already feel way too dumb to talk about this, so I’ll borrow a quote from the original post:
The companies had agreed not to place so-called “cold calls” to try and recruit competitors’ employees, the government said back then.
The lawsuit also named tech companies Intel Corp., Adobe Systems and Intuit as defendants.
The judge’s decision means that the defendants must produce documents describing their agreements, Bloomberg said, adding that potential damages could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Google said that is has “always actively and aggressively recruited top talent,” according to Bloomberg.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of employees following a probe, after which the companies had agreed not to place “cold calls” to people they wanted to poach. And now, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh says that while she’s not ultimately concerned with the company’s agreements themselves — since private companies are free to conjure up their own policies (within reason and the law, I guess?) — she has expressed concern about “an over-arching conspiracy between all the companies.” And conspiracies are bad.
So, what it looks like is that this group of companies have allegedly come to some sort of pact with each other not to recruit each other’s employees, and that’s bad. Because of the free market.
Okay, so, any corrections, please email us at tips [at] themarysue [dot] com. I’m going to pray that I get to write about something related to Ghostbusters or Mystery Science Theater 3000 now, because I feel like I was just forced to make out with a blood relative while fighting a band of pirates at the same time.
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