Google may be a search giant but when it would enter the technology industry with the launch of many softwares, apps and electronic devices like Google phone, to compete with Apple a conflict of interest is bound to occur.
Recently, a court filing was unveiled that included an email which late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had personally sent to former Google chief Eric Schmidt requesting an end to worker poaching.
The email was sent in March of 2007. According to a report in Reuters, it specifically asked Google to put end to its active recruitment of an unnamed Apple engineer and alluded to stop worker poaching in general.
In his e-mail, Jobs had written that he “would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this”. Schmidt who was on Apple’s board of directors at that time. He quickly turned around and forwarded the correspondence to certain undisclosed members of Google’s staff, including a staffing director who responded by ordering that the employee responsible for the recruitment in question would be “terminated within the hour.” The unnamed staffing manager also sent apologies to Jobs for his actions.
The lawsuit that has brought this email to the lime light is a civil litigation stemming from a Justice Department probe that investigated the anti-poaching practices of Google, Apple, Adobe Systems, Intel, Intuit Inc., and Pixar. This probe also revealed that in 2009, Apple and Google had reportedly created an unofficial agreement to not poach each other’s workers, resulting in the antitrust investigation. All six of the companies involved agreed to a five year moratorium on “no solicitation agreements” and settled with the Justice Department in 2010.
A court hearing has brought civil suit claims from five software engineers who have accused the companies of colluding to keep employees’ salaries low by eliminating labor competition. Thought the case will continue, however it may split into separate class action lawsuits.