Facebook Wouldn't Get in on Apple-Google Hiring Cabal

Top tech firms allegedly agreed not to poach talent

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 21, 2014 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Facebook refused to join an anti-labor conspiracy that included Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe, according to newly released documents in a $3 billion lawsuit against the allegedly colluding tech giants. According to the suit, the companies' top executives agreed to suppress wages and avoid poaching each other's talent from 2005 to 2009. The documents detail one dispute, for example, in which a Google recruiter targeted Apple employees. Steve Jobs told Google, through Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell, that if it hired any of them "that means war," the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a deposition, Sergey Brin writes that Jobs was being "just kind of crazy." But Campbell soon assured Jobs that Google CEO Eric Schmidt had directly intervened; the recruiter responsible was soon fired. But Facebook wasn't so accommodating. In 2008, Campbell wrote in an email to Google executives saying, "Who should contact Sheryl (Sandberg) or Mark (Zuckerberg) to get a cease-fire? We have to get a truce." But Sandberg, Facebook's COO, refused to play ball. The trial is set to begin next month. Lawyers for the defense have sought to ban some evidence that they say is baseless character assassination against Jobs, ComputerWorld reports.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, right, talks with Google founder Sergey Brin, left, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, center, looks on during a MacWorld Conference in this Jan. 15, 2008 file photo.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, right, talks with Google founder Sergey Brin, left, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, center, looks on during a MacWorld Conference in this Jan. 15, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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