It’s been a year since we’ve heard any news aboout the allegations of widespread no-hire “gentleman’s agreements” between Silicon Valley’s top companies. Twelve months and nearly 200 legal filings later, the case is moving forward, and Judge Lucy Koh is saying that internal emails reveal executives believed the agreement would bring real financial benefits to their companies, reports Reuters. At a hearing in San Jose, the judge also ordered a four-hour deposition of Apple CEO Tim Cook, over the opposition of Apple’s attorneys, who claimed that as COO of the company he had nothing to do with the no-hire agreements.
In 2010, the Department of Justice concluded an investigation into the issue
The plaintiffs in the case allege that Apple, Google, Intel, Pixar, Adobe, Intuit, and Lucasfilm conspired not to compete for employees, restricting their mobility, and keeping salaries artificially low. In 2010, the Department of Justice concluded an investigation into the issue, ordering the companies to stop the practice, but stopping short of compensating the employees affected, which is what the plaintiffs hope to achieve with the current civil suit. While they are still fighting for class action status, the plaintiffs’ attorneys think a successful prosecution could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.