Pixar, Apple, Google, Lucasfilm and Others Will Face Antitrust Suit

Seven major companies have been told by a federal judge that they must face a lawsuit that alleges that the companies essentially broke antitrust laws by entering into agreements with one another to not recruit each other’s talent.  The suit was brought against the companies by employees who feel their ability to negotiate for better salaries and deals were negative effected by the alleged arrangement.

The seven companies include Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Pixar — a division of the Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) — Lucasfilm, Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU), Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), and Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC), all of which are located or affiliated with “Silicon Valley.”  The same companies had actually settled a suit from the Justice Department in 2010 that essentially alleged similar practices: in essence, that the companies would not “cold call” each other’s employees for the purposes of recruiting them.

The judge stated that even if she had dismissed some of the claims against the companies, that the plaintiffs would have been able to easily amend and refile them.  The onus is now on the defendants to provide evidence and documentation describing the agreements in question.

Potential damages, according to Bloomberg, could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.  So far, only Google has gone on record about the decision, stating to Bloomberg that it has “always actively and aggressively recruited top talent.”