A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit against Apple and several other companies can proceed as a class-action suit today after determining that a significant number of employees across the tech industry were hurt by “do-not-hire” arrangements between their employers and other companies. The policies in question were practiced by Apple, Google, Adobe, Pixar, and more as a way of keeping their own employees from defecting to competitors for higher pay. Essentially the agreements barred two companies from offering jobs to competing employees for a higher salary. Because doing so gave employees leverage with which to bargain for higher pay at their own jobs, employers were often faced with the decision to either pay any given employee more to keep them around or lose them to a competitor willing to pay more.
One of Pixar’s early employees, John Lasseter, accepted a Disney Legends award for Steve Jobs. The awarded was accepted and presented yesterday at Disney’s D23 conference. The Disney Legends award is granted to key people in the growth and success of Disney. As Pixar’s creator and a former Disney Director, Jobs certainly made a positive impact on Disney. Lasseter’s speech recounts several encounters and experiences that he shared with Jobs over the course of their time together. A video from another angle is below:
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose to give a deposition related to an ongoing private lawsuit that claims Apple, Google, and others entered “no-poach” agreements, as reported by Bloomberg. Cook isn’t the only executive named in yesterday’s order. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will also be deposed on Feb. 20, as well as Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini later this month.
Koh told lawyers yesterday that Apple founder Steve Jobs was copied on e-mails at issue in the case, and that she found it “hard to believe” that Cook, as Apple’s chief operating officer at the time in question, wouldn’t have been consulted about such agreements.
The judge said she was disappointed that senior executives at the companies involved hadn’t been deposed before yesterday’s hearing over whether she should certify the case as a group lawsuit. The class would include different categories of employees whose incomes, their lawyers argue, were artificially reduced because of the collusion. Koh didn’t rule on class certification. Read more
Steve Jobs bit starts at 22:30
Aaron Sorkin: Each of the 3 :30 min scenes in Steve Jobs movie will take place backstage before a product launch. That's the movie. #hero12—
The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 15, 2012
Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter behind the upcoming Steve Jobs film, explained today that his entire movie would consist of only three scenes. Each scene will be 30 minutes long and will follow Jobs backstage just before the unveiling of the Mac, NeXT, and the original iPod.
Sorkin’s movie is backed by Sony and not much else is known about the picture. “The West Wing” writer took the job shortly after Jobs’ death, and he had been asked by Jobs personally to write for Pixar in the past. Read more
It appears the U.S. Justice Department has some solid evidence against companies including Apple, Google, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Intel. TechCrunch obtained a document from the DOJ that is now posted to Scribd. Among the pieces of evidence, include:
The DOJ settled with the six companies, but a class action lawsuit is pending. The complaint regards entering into non-poach and no bidding war agreements. The above mentioned companies allegedly lowered employee compensation artificially while hindering mobility.
The plaintiffs seek damages for any salaried employee who worked for one of the defendants during a 4-year period in the late 2000s. That means a lot of Silicon Valley tech workers could receive a payout if the defendants lose or settle the case. The civil case will be heard by Judge Koh in San Jose starting January 26th, 2011
The defendants, including Apple, asked the case to be dismissed, stating that the DOJ found “no overarching conspiracy” and that these bilateral agreements were separate.
Al Gore had some words on the passing of Steve Jobs at the AllThingsD conference in Asia last night. He said that Jobs was “the kind of guy that comes along once every 250 years.”
On Apple after him, Jobs relayed to Gore that Disney, where Jobs’ served on the board after selling Pixar, fell on hard times after Walt Disney died. Often, the board at Disney would ask “What would Walt do?” and trying to figure that out would end up being the wrong answer. Jobs, according to Gore, didn’t want this to happen at Apple. He wanted Apple to make its own decisions moving forward based on the decisions of the current management team.
Gore wasn’t terribly revealing on specifics but he did say “There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline and the team [Steve Jobs] left behind is really firing on all cylinders”.
Finally, when asked about Apple’s future, Gore said that the management team is the best in the world and that “Everyone on that management team could be CEO of a world class corporation”. Gore acknowledges this is both a blessing and a curse and, as with the case of Ron Johnson, other companies will be trying to pick them off.
Gore also talked about the AT&T&T-Mobile merger during the Q&A answering a question from TIMN’s Joanna Stern saying that the merger would be unlikely, and would be hard to overcome Justice Department’s challenge.