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Google, Apple Settle Justice Dept. Hiring Probe

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the now-they-won't-hire-from-doj-either dept.

Crime 73

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The LA Times reports that under a proposed settlement with the Justice Department, six major Silicon Valley firms — Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar — would be barred from pledging not to 'cold call' one another's employees. Federal officials have been scrutinizing such agreements for more than a year, concerned that they restrained competition for skilled workers and kept an artificial cap on wages by avoiding expensive bidding wars. If the court fight had proceeded, it could have helped decide the legality of such accords, not just in the high-tech sector but across all industries. But the fight had risks for each side. To win, the Justice Department would have had to convince a court that workers had suffered significant harm. A loss for the companies would have opened the door to a rush of lawsuits."

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Do no Evil? (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33697566)

Google is probably in the worst position for this to come out because it's yet another example of how bad that company has become.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for an email provider and a search engine now?

It's like Google has become what Yahoo was back in the day.

Re:Do no Evil? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697610)

I work for Google.

In what way is this bad? I haven't understood exactly what all this hulabaloo has been about? I see people both leaving to and arriving from some of those companies quite often.

So, what's the ruckus about?

Re:Do no Evil? (-1, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33697628)

I work for Google. ... So, what's the ruckus about?

I rest my case.

Re:Do no Evil? (3, Insightful)

borgboy (218060) | about 4 years ago | (#33697656)

That's not a valid argument. It's an implied ad hominem at best. You can do better. Do so, or shut your FUD spreading mouth.

Re:Do no Evil? (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33697822)

That's not a valid argument. It's an implied ad hominem at best. You can do better. Do so, or shut your FUD spreading mouth.

He works at Google and he's saying he is oblivious to the wayward track they have taken. My position is that he's turned his head to it, like many others there, and that is why I said I rested my case. Now obviously that's not enough for everyone. Okay fair enough -- I'll respond.

Google was forged by the fact Yahoo had lost its way. If Yahoo wasn't a profiteering, cantankerous example of a company that had lost its focus around the time Google was gaining momentum, then Google could not have gained momentum.

Google is an example of how a company like Yahoo was begging to be replaced. The irony is that now we find Google in the same position because of many examples of how they are not following their motto of "Do No Evil".

Phoning someone up to see if they want a job, out of the blue -- cold calling your competitors... well that's the kind of thing Mr. Burns would do. It's fucking evil. Now I expect companies like Apple to do it. I expect the other corporations to be that shady. That's their way.

But Google? No.

Now I keep reading examples in the media -- often little stories presented of how Google has lost its way. They add up.

Now you can ignore the examples, but it seems that every day or every other day there are comments about Google harpooning Net Neutrality, presenting examples about how Net Neutrality is bad or a thing of the past, and we hear tales now of how Google is poaching employees directly by phoning competitors... it adds to prove they are NO DIFFERENT now than other companies their size.

Anyone against the Net being free and neutral supports evil. Google has taken this position.

Okay back up a second. Think of how Google started out. Google was like an oasis among other websites when it first launched. That didn't last. They introduced advertising and a model to create adds. They sank a lot of other email providers and then targeted the users with advertisements.

The kinds of people who pay to use adsense/adwords are the kind of get-rich-quick fucks that caused the first internet bubble to burst (well they formed the bubble and it popped because of financial physics...)

But now recently we hear stories about how they send a paralegal to try and prevent some poor schmuck from claiming his $721 adsense revenue [reddit.com] . That's not an isolated case.

My position is that Google is evil now.

Re:Do no Evil? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698004)

Really? That's the best you can do? God, you're a fucking jackass.

Re:Do no Evil? (0, Offtopic)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33698166)

Really? That's the best you can do? God, you're a fucking jackass.

Good trolling!

Re:Do no Evil? (1, Insightful)

Draconmythica (1057150) | about 4 years ago | (#33698184)

You really should have tried at least reading the summary. Cold calling competitors is exactly what Google had an agreement with these companies NOT to do. The justice department is forcing them to dissolve that agreement out of the notion that it is hurting the employees to not receive these cold calls. Next time try listening a little before opening your mouth.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 4 years ago | (#33698432)

Cold calling competitors is exactly what Google had an agreement with these companies NOT to do

They do that to companies not in agreement. If you read glassdoor.com, you'll see a lot people got an interview by linkedin. Personally I got one too even though my profile specified not to contact me for jobs.

Next time try listening a little before opening your mouth.

I certainly hope to see less of such pointless attacks on Slashdot.

Re:Do no Evil? (0, Flamebait)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#33698248)

Phoning someone up to see if they want a job, out of the blue -- cold calling your competitors... well that's the kind of thing Mr. Burns would do. It's fucking evil. Now I expect companies like Apple to do it. I expect the other corporations to be that shady. That's their way.

You're a fucking moron. Google and Apple were not cold calling; in fact, they made and agreement not to cold call each other, and the Justice Department is contesting that agreement.

In a blog post, Google associate general counsel Amy Lambert said: "While there's no evidence that our policy hindered hiring or affected wages, we abandoned our 'no cold calling' policy in late 2009 once the Justice Department raised concerns, and are happy to continue with this approach as part of this settlement."

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33698408)

they restrained competition for skilled workers and kept an artificial cap on wages by avoiding expensive bidding wars

So I'm a moron? How is this not evil?

Re:Do no Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698536)

It is evil. You are a moron because you thought that Google was evil because they were cold calling, and the summary and the article both say that they had an agreement to NOT cold call others' employees. They were being evil by depressing wages, but you're a moron because you were jousting at windmills you moronic FUD-spreading overly-Google-hating prick. Next time you should probably read the summary for two seconds before you open your mouth you moron.

Re:Do no Evil? (0, Redundant)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 4 years ago | (#33697662)

What are you talking about?

Re:Do no Evil? (0, Redundant)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33697698)

What a useless reply.

Re:Do no Evil? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697696)

Federal officials have been scrutinizing such agreements for more than a year, concerned that they restrained competition for skilled workers and kept an artificial cap on wages by avoiding expensive bidding wars. For example, Apple placed Google on its "do not call" list, which instructed employees not to directly cold-call Google's employees. Similarly, Google listed Apple among the companies with which it had special agreements not to solicit, the Justice Department said. These agreements were "actively managed" by senior executives, it added.

Cartel: A group of businesses or nations that collude to limit competition within an industry or market;

This is collusion to artificially reduce demand for Skilled Labor in these sectors therefore suppressing the wages of said Skilled Labor, also, take note it's just cold calling which still means the scenario you put forth can still occur but stopping cold calling is still artificially reducing demand which is made worse when the companies are often competitors in different sectors.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

wrook (134116) | about 4 years ago | (#33701966)

It might be just me, but who the hell does cold calling anyway. When I worked in high tech I always thought it was a rather impolite thing to do. If one of my friends was unhappy with their job I would never be shy to tell them to send a resume. But I would never randomly phone up people in another company and try to lure them to mine. In fact, I would consider that anyone who would accept such an offer to be somewhat suspect. It's not like these companies are unknown. Anyone wanting to work for these companies won't hesitate to send a resume in...

Collusion is bad and the companies ought to be reprimanded for it. But I have a very hard time seeing this as something that will actually affect labor prices in any great way. Instead, I suspect that it would only affect a very small handful of superstar employees, or executives. And it would be more about companies strategically hiring away key members of the other company's staff in order to sabotage them. As a consumer of goods, I would rather these big companies *not* mess about in this way. Let them each develop their own products and have the consumer decide which is better.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33702722)

It isn't just the key members, either. The biggest star player doesn't play alone. Cold calling can be used to break up a winning team. Joe may be a good solid worker, and everyone relies on him, but he doesn't have the something extra to become a "key member". Hire him away, all the same, and you weaken the team that relies on him. You might even cripple it, if the high profile stars are lacking some quality that Joe has.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33703188)

>>>I have a very hard time seeing this as something that will actually affect labor prices in any great way

It's competition.

Supply and demand. The end. If Microsoft, Google, Apple, et cetera had to compete with one another for "human resources", that is increased demand and the pricetags on the employees would go up. By creating a gentleman's agreement Not to compete one another, they eliminate the demand and avoid that escalating cost. Great for them. Sucks for the employees.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

kalirion (728907) | about 4 years ago | (#33711436)

Isn't "cold calling" basically telephone spam? Why should it be allowed?

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 4 years ago | (#33697730)

"I work for Google."

Enjoy being stalked by Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar then. Next time you get one of those robotic telemarketer calls you might actually want to hear what they have to say because it's probably a job offer.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

arivanov (12034) | about 4 years ago | (#33701676)

Just ignore him. The almighty algorithm is not flagging him as a "risk to leave" yet: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124269038041932531.html [wsj.com]
Not joking, here is a quote from Google VP of HR: "[Our human resources algorithm helps Google] get inside people's heads even before they know they might leave,"
In any case, algorithms work on data and the level of spying on your own employees to have the data to back the above claim frankly scares the living world out of me. Do no evil? Some other time...

Re:Do no Evil? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697874)

It probably has something to do with the fact that your paychecks are probably half the size of mine, regardless of the fact that you probably have a better skillset. Google employees are seriously underpaid for what they do, and agreements like this between companies help make that possible.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33698212)

It probably has something to do with the fact that your paychecks are probably half the size of mine, regardless of the fact that you probably have a better skillset. Google employees are seriously underpaid for what they do, and agreements like this between companies help make that possible.

Well stated. This is evidence that some evil has infiltrated Google's upper echelon. The fact Google stopped out of self interest, has little to do with it. They are bad now.

Re:Do no Evil? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698282)

It probably has something to do with the fact that your paychecks are probably half the size of mine, regardless of the fact that you probably have a better skillset.

So, as long as we are posting as anon, we can easily compare this with some glassdoor links. Here's Google's: http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Google-Salaries-E9079.htm [glassdoor.com] So what company do you work for that pays an out of college grad 200K/yr + bonus, and can I get their number?

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

tycoex (1832784) | about 4 years ago | (#33701250)

Why is Google regular rated as the best company in the entire USA to work at then?

Re:Do no Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698266)

Tavis Ormandy, David Barcksdale, Eric Schmidt and his asshole comments, Buzz, Street View Wi-Fi data collection...

Google has become the new Microsoft. Rather than innovate they just acquire startups left and right.

For search I recommend Duck Duck Go, for e-mail there's plenty of providers out there that don't spy on your mail.

Glass

Re:Do no Evil? (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33702688)

Simple. It's an artificial cap on wages. It limits a prospective employee's bargaining power. In a "free market" this wouldn't happen. If you don't understand what "free market" is all about, you should research the concept. The fact is, we don't have a free market. Like democracy, we give some lip service to it - but we don't have it.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33697616)

For search engine, ixquick / startpage.com [startpage.com] . It also respects your privacy and doesn't log any information.

Re:Do no Evil? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697686)

Oh give me a break, there is absolutely no "evil" here.

Basically, there were a few companies that were closely partnered together on various things. To maintain good relations, they basically said "hey, don't go out of your way to try and steal our employees" to each other. The employees were ALWAYS free to go to another of the companies, they just didn't want the recruiting departments actively trying to poach.

The only way this is "evil" is if you're specifically trying to find fault with Google and grasping at straws.

Re:Do no Evil? (2, Insightful)

The Hatchet (1766306) | about 4 years ago | (#33697796)

It is absolutely evil, and I am typically one to defend google. Lowering peoples wages on purpose, making their lives harder, and concentrating money at the top of the company and the top of society is a load of bullshit and is terrible for society. Headhunting increases the amount companies need to pay their employees to get them to stay, and to make sure rival offers don't steal employees. It is exactly what needs to be happening all the time in every industry to stop this 2/3 jobs and still poor bullshit happening around the country, and the whole 60% of the wealth to 5% of the people. It is why college students like me are going to be debt slaves until we are fucking 40, if we live that long killing ourselves with 80-100 hour weeks until hell freezes over. What a dumb anonymous bitch.

Re:Do no Evil? (1, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | about 4 years ago | (#33697712)

"Google is probably in the worst position for this to come out because it's yet another example of how bad that company has become."

How bad? Pledging not to cold call is a bad thing?

Last slashdot story made it sound like they were flat out refusing to hire each other's employees, [slashdot.org] now it comes out that they were agreeing not to stalk each other's employees. While sure the employees are still probably losing something here it's clear they're not losing much at all, I can see now that every Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar employee is going to be making $200k+ because they're going to just keep stealing each other's employees instead of finding talent from the rest of the world so really this hurts everyone looking for a job right now and the only people that win are those already working for Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar.

Thanks DOJ for screwing everyone looking for a job right now!

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

russotto (537200) | about 4 years ago | (#33697742)

While sure the employees are still probably losing something here it's clear they're not losing much at all, I can see now that every Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar employee is going to be making $200k+ because they're going to just keep stealing each other's employees instead of finding talent from the rest of the world so really this hurts everyone looking for a job right now and the only people that win are those already working for Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar.

Not a problem. Just mention on your LinkedIn/Facebook/whatever profile that you work for one of those companies. Doesn't have to be true, just has to come up in a keyword search. Once they're talking to you, you can "clarify" the error.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 4 years ago | (#33697754)

"Not a problem. Just mention on your LinkedIn/Facebook/whatever profile that you work for one of those companies. "

You're an Evil genius ;) you must work for

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33697872)

How bad? Pledging not to cold call is a bad thing?

Don't deliberately try to misunderstand me. I said that Google has lost its way. I just found out that they were phoning competitors and poaching. Now that they agreed not to do it is too little, too late for me. The fact they were doing it to begin with I take issue with.

Re:Do no Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698484)

How bad? Pledging not to cold call is a bad thing?

Don't deliberately try to misunderstand me. I said that Google has lost its way. I just found out that they were phoning competitors and poaching.

What? Neither the article or the summary says that Google was cold calling. If you have some evidence they did, please present it.

And if your 'evidence' is "THEN WHY DID THE AGREEMENT EXIST?!?!?", it specifically says that Apple required these contracts with companies it worked with.

Re:Do no Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698412)

Okay, so in this post you say:

Google is probably in the worst position for this to come out because it's yet another example of how bad that company has become.

And downthread you say:

Phoning someone up to see if they want a job, out of the blue -- cold calling your competitors... well that's the kind of thing Mr. Burns would do. It's fucking evil. Now I expect companies like Apple to do it. I expect the other corporations to be that shady. That's their way.

So, just to get this straight:

Cold calling = EVIL
Agreeing to NOT cold call = EVIL

So:
good = not cold calling, but make sure you never leave a paper trail saying so?

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

selven (1556643) | about 4 years ago | (#33698456)

Search Engine: Ixquick [ixquick.com]
Email provider: Your own email server. Sorry, I would recommend something simpler, but every third party is guaranteed to become corrupted over time.

Re:Google == Yahoo: Not even close. (1)

lpq (583377) | about 4 years ago | (#33717540)

I've yet to see this. I don't see Google ads on every email sent from a google account, nor do I see lots of confusing non-answers on a search. The ones that are ads are clearly marked and are, _sometimes_, actually helpful. When they aren't, they aren't sufficiently distracting to keep me from finding what I need quickly and efficiently.

So from my perspective as a user of their search and a receiver of email sent from google accounts, I'd have to disagree. I don't send or read mail using a google account, so I'm not talking from that perspective.

Just because they target you with ads appropriate to your search or query doesn't make them bad. They have to make money the same as anyone else. Would would be annoying is making the ads sufficiently distracting as to interfere with me getting the search results I need. But I don't mind ads relevant to my search -- especially if they occasionally help me get my job (whatever my 'search job' is) done.

That's their right (1)

srussia (884021) | about 4 years ago | (#33697620)

This does not restrict any employee of these companies from shopping their skills to the others.

FTFA:Further, some companies said that although they had agreements not to cold-call partners' employees, they never agreed not to hire one another's employees. Google said it had hired hundreds of employees from companies with which it collaborated, through job fairs, employee referrals and other means.

Cartelized monopolies (or monopsonies, in this case) are hard to maintain.

Inefficient (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#33697632)

I don't doubt the need for such anti-trust regulations, but it just seems such an uphill battle, the investigation, lengthy court battle, etc. I wonder if there is a better structural solution.

Re:Inefficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697652)

Shoot on Sight? :P

Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (5, Interesting)

ThisIsForReal (897233) | about 4 years ago | (#33697676)

How dumb was this ill-conceived and poorly executed conspiracy? Let us count the ways.

1. There is no way that potential savings from these ridiculous schemes could have warranted the risks. Just how much money are we talking about saving by not losing a few important employees? Thousands? Chump change. Dumb.

2. Whatever the costs, we're talking about multinational corporations with billions of dollars in the bank. Really, they couldn't dip into those rainy day funds to counter a few offers? It's not just miserly. It's dumb.

3. We knew Apple was a bully. Turns out, it is an even bigger bully than we realized. According to the complaint: "Apple requested an agreement from Adobe to refrain from cold-calling each other's employees. Faced with the likelihood that refusing would result in retaliation and significant competition for its employees, Adobe agreed." Pissing off a key ally? Dumb.

4. Now, everyone working at one of these companies has got to be thinking the same thing: "Did I get screwed?" That's not exactly the kind of gung-ho, morale-building conversations you want going on. Dumb.

5. Those who do think they got the shaft may sue. And because this is an antitrust finding, the settlement will allow anyone who wins in federal court to "recover three times the damages the person has suffered." Say goodbye to whatever measly amounts the companies saved through these agreements. Dumb.

6. People maintained lists. They kept records. According to the complaint: "Pixar instructed human resources personnel to adhere to the agreement and maintain a paper trail in the event Apple accused Pixar of violating the agreement." Dumb.

7. Under this settlement, the Justice Department gets to check up on the companies just about whenever it pleases. Thought the federal government was interfering too much before? Well, congratulations. It will get worse. Dumb.

8. Did they really not think this would come to light? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Original Source [mercurynews.com]

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 4 years ago | (#33697768)

6. People maintained lists. They kept records. According to the complaint: "Pixar instructed human resources personnel to adhere to the agreement and maintain a paper trail in the event Apple accused Pixar of violating the agreement." Dumb.

8. Did they really not think this would come to light? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

These are only dumb if the companies involved thought they were doing something illegal.

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33701854)

That would be dumb on the part of their lawyers. It's not like laws against anti-competitive practices are something new.

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (3, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | about 4 years ago | (#33697802)

"5. Those who do think they got the shaft may sue. And because this is an antitrust finding, the settlement will allow anyone who wins in federal court to "recover three times the damages the person has suffered." Say goodbye to whatever measly amounts the companies saved through these agreements. Dumb."

I don't think you read the article. No one got "shafted", they had "special agreements not to solicit" and "instructed employees not to directly cold-call Google's employees." This has nothing to do with employees who applied and were turned away like the previous article suggested [slashdot.org] , they simply agreed not to stalk and actively harass each other's employees attempting to steal them.

Imagine you were dating a woman... I know, /., it's a stretch, but pretend... actually, let's say you were dating a Elven Princess [wordpress.com] on WoW, that's closer to probably closer to reality. Your buddy is dating a... um... Elven Sorceress (sure why not). Your buddy starts harassing your princess trying to get her to be with him. You tell your buddy to lay off or you're going to go after his sorceress. You both agree not to harass each other's WoW girlfriends. That's what happened here, they agreed not to harass each other's employees. That's probably a good thing, both for your WoW dates and for you and your buddy. Course now the WoW masters said you're not allowed to do that, so if you want to harass each other's dates or anyone else you're permitted. See how the DOJ just mucked this all up?

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697942)

Your analogy is just terrible. Personal relationships and business relationships are two different things. This isn't about 4 people, this is about thousands, and you know what? None of the employees were asked their opinion.

Sorry, but you didn't illustrate the problem, you illustrated your ignorance of it.

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33707378)

I work at one of those companies as an engineer. I knew about this because my friend is in HR at another one of the companies.
And you know what? Parent's analogy actually is more correct than you think.

If I submit my resume to another one of the companies, they will strongly consider hiring me. The agreement wasn't to not hire each other's employees, it's to not cold call to solicit the employees. I, personally, think it's fine.

In other words, if somebody else's WoW girlfriend asks if you feel like playing, it's pretty much open game. :)

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698182)

Entering into a conspiracy that limits financial opportunities for employees should be more than a civil violation. It should involve criminal penalties. I've seen this done by an industrial district that supposedly, for the good of the community, entered into a restrained pay agreement that used the excuse that new businesses would be attracted to the community by wage restraints. Obviously the public could benefit even more if they had profit restraints in place upon the businesses but businesses seemed to be blind to that line of thinking.

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (1)

rebot777 (765163) | about 4 years ago | (#33698338)

Your post seems to be making the point that this was conceived as a cost saving endeavor. I highly doubt apple or the other companies involved were concerned about having to pay the market price for their employees, I'd bet they're well compensated.

It seems more likely that this was much more about not losing key members of their team with valuable training, trade secrets, and project time invested. In such a time sensitive and competitive market losing a team lead could seriously sabotage an important product.

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#33699390)

1. There is no way that potential savings from these ridiculous schemes could have warranted the risks. Just how much money are we talking about saving by not losing a few important employees? Thousands? Chump change. Dumb.

Maybe savings had nothing to do with pure salary costs. The knowledge and time lost when important employees can hurt a company like a key developer.

2. Whatever the costs, we're talking about multinational corporations with billions of dollars in the bank. Really, they couldn't dip into those rainy day funds to counter a few offers? It's not just miserly. It's dumb.

The agreement was not to "cold-call" each other's employees. The agreement was not to prevent the hiring of each other's employees. As a company would you like your workers to be cold-called at work with potential job offers (some of which will probably not match your skills as it is a cold call) or would you like not to get what some might consider spam. Employees that want to leave will be actively looking for work.

3. We knew Apple was a bully. Turns out, it is an even bigger bully than we realized. According to the complaint: "Apple requested an agreement from Adobe to refrain from cold-calling each other's employees. Faced with the likelihood that refusing would result in retaliation and significant competition for its employees, Adobe agreed." Pissing off a key ally? Dumb.

This is Adobe we are talking about right? Adobe competes with Apple in a number of different software. Many companies are both partners and competitors at the same time.

4. Now, everyone working at one of these companies has got to be thinking the same thing: "Did I get screwed?" That's not exactly the kind of gung-ho, morale-building conversations you want going on. Dumb. 5. Those who do think they got the shaft may sue. And because this is an antitrust finding, the settlement will allow anyone who wins in federal court to "recover three times the damages the person has suffered." Say goodbye to whatever measly amounts the companies saved through these agreements. Dumb.

And what would be the exact suit for? "Potential" damages is tricky. You'd have to prove that the loses were inevitable. Potential, possible salary losses are hard to prove. It might have been a case had people that were actively looking to change jobs were denied jobs but that does not appear to be the case.

Also this is not an antitrust finding. It was a settlement not a finding. A finding is technically a decision made by a judge or authoritative body.

Re:Chris O'Brien summed it up best: (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | about 4 years ago | (#33701464)

Mostly good points. The major exception is this:

3. We knew Apple was a bully. Turns out, it is an even bigger bully than we realized. According to the complaint: "Apple requested an agreement from Adobe to refrain from cold-calling each other's employees. Faced with the likelihood that refusing would result in retaliation and significant competition for its employees, Adobe agreed." Pissing off a key ally? Dumb.

Adobe is not a key Apple ally. Apple has been trying to damage Adobe across a number of fronts with increasing intensity for a couple of decades now, beginning with a partnership with Microsoft to undercut Postscript fonts with TrueType and leading to the current broad effort to kill Flash. Adobe, for its part, is not in any hurry to lose its dominance in graphics software on the Mac platform, but it's been quite a long time since the Mac version of anything in what's now called the Creative Suite came out before the Windows version. There is no love lost between those two companies despite their mutual dependence, and I would not be at all surprised if it was driven by personal animosity between the executives on both sides.

And what's wrong with this outcome? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 4 years ago | (#33697680)

To win, the Justice Department would have had to convince a court that workers had suffered significant harm. A loss for the companies would have opened the door to a rush of lawsuits."

Seems to me that the court case would have been the most desired outcome. Either workers have a case for being screwed over, or the Justice Department would have had to learn how to build a stronger case. Personally I think that the Justice Department would have won since everyone working at those companies knows not to recruit friends from the other companies for exactly this reason. What more would you need?

And the companies can't claim that they were only doing this to protect employees who have signed no-compete agreements. Those aren't legal in California.

JD wimped out nothing will really change, and employees have no case unless they want to fight the whole JD battle on their own dime. Epic fail of justice!

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697720)

Water

Is

Wet.

Did Google Mislead Congress on Hiring Efforts? (4, Interesting)

theodp (442580) | about 4 years ago | (#33697778)

June 6, 2007 Congressional Testimony of Laszlo Bock [blogspot.com] : "Google's hiring process is rigorous, and we make great efforts to uncover the most talented employees we can find."

September 24, 2010 Justice Department Press Release [justice.gov] : "Beginning no later than 2006, Apple and Google executives agreed not to cold call each other's employees...Beginning no later than September 2007, Google and Intel executives agreed not to cold call each other's employees...In June 2007, Google and Intuit executives agreed that Google would not cold call any Intuit employee."

Cold Call (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33697788)

I really hate these articles because they make me feel like an incompetent programmer. I have never had a cold call from any of these companies. They really do that?? What am I doing wrong???

Re:Cold Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697806)

You work for the wrong company, and you don't author and publish enough academic papers (or, less likely, extremely high quality technical blogs) on topics that'd be interesting to those companies.

Re:Cold Call (2, Funny)

DMiax (915735) | about 4 years ago | (#33697930)

I really hate these articles because they make me feel like an incompetent programmer. I have never had a cold call from any of these companies. They really do that?? What am I doing wrong???

Reading Slashdot too much? Just guessing: I was never called either.

Re:Cold Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698218)

What am I doing wrong?

Well, for one thing, you have a Monkees quote in your sig.

Re:Cold Call (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 4 years ago | (#33698252)

A cold call could be when your ex-coworker calls you up to tell you they're hiring at his new place (we have done this). If you happen to have a special skill, this can definitely happen. What's worse than cold calling is what I ran into recently - I had started a dialog with someone at a company only to be shut down because "I just learned that we are not allowed to hire anyone from your company". *I made the first contact* so it's not even a cold call from them. This is happening with big companies in Detroit.

Re:Cold Call (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33698442)

Wow, you should report that one to the FCC, because that's evidence of real damage right there. At least these guys still allowed each other to keep up the process if someone else made first contact. Although stories like this could be why all the big companies in Detroit are disappearing.....

Re:Cold Call (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33698454)

Note: when I said FCC, I really meant FTC

Re:Cold Call (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 years ago | (#33698434)

What am I doing wrong???

I'll explain. The reason they would cold call is so they can get inside information. You don't hire directly from a competitor without expecting to get an advantage for doing so. The agreement was to also prevent bidding wars that could cost the companies money but it put an artificial freeze on wages. It's evil.

To answer your question: either you're not working at a company any of them hate or are interested in, or a few of your fellow employees already took the calls.

Re:Cold Call (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 4 years ago | (#33700842)

I think expecting to get inside information is unethical and possibly illegal depending on non-disclosure agreements. It's really sleazy to either ask about or disclose information about pre-released products.

I think you're right that these agreements dampened the market for these employees. Otherwise, these companies may have needed to pay more in bonuses (stay for 2 years, get $50k).

Re:Cold Call (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about 4 years ago | (#33700078)

Yes, they really do cold call. I got one from Google a few years ago. I wouldn't care to repeat the experience, and I'm not just saying that because they didn't hire me. :) Between the time I scheduled my first phone technical interview and the interview date an old friend of mine committed suicide. I asked them to reschedule and they refused. I did the interview about an hour after getting off the plane from the funeral. Needless to say I didn't do well. It was a blessing in disguise, though. Had I gone out to live in silicon valley it would have been at the height of the housing market and I'd probably be deeply underwater on a house right now.

Nothing to see here, move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33697810)

ok, why again would this be "BAD" for Google?

Out of all the companies mentioned, Google would be the one which most of the skilled employees would want to flock to anyways..
net-net this is a win for Google.

On the other hand, this is only about cold-calling.
If an employee is unhappy and gets off his behind, searches the (public) jobs database and applies for a job, this never affected them.

If someone is too passive and lethargic to express interest to work in your company, why would any HR department even WANT to cold call them??

Re:Nothing to see here, move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698268)

Eh, I interviewed at Google and turned down a job offer. I have friends that work at Google, Apple, and a few other companies involved. Truth is, Google isn't all that. Haven't been for a while.

Settlement? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 years ago | (#33698114)

This must be a new meaning of the word "settlement". In the past, I thought it meant settling with the victims of an act, not with some third party. It doesn't seem like a settlement if there is nothing in it for the victims other than a promise not do it (openly, at least) for the next five years. I would just call this an "agreement". In particular, is the DOJ releasing the information they collected, so that potential victims could use it to file suit?

Re:Settlement? (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 4 years ago | (#33699272)

The government could be a victim. Depressed wages bring less tax.

fuc4... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33698368)

Series ofT debates worthwhile. It's they started to

cold calling works? (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | about 4 years ago | (#33698844)

I can't believe large companies would even have to bother with a cold calling strategy. Once you've been in tech a few years (at least this is my experience), hiring of good people mostly happens through word-of-mouth.

I've only gotten cold calls from the most rinky-dink companies.

Companies like Apple, Google, etc. probably already have a good bit of cross-pollination. I just can't see them saying "OK, rev up the phone banks".

Re:cold calling works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33699004)

Companies like Apple, Google, etc. probably already have a good bit of cross-pollination. I just can't see them saying "OK, rev up the phone banks".

I don't think they do, but they might work with people who do. Recruiter's jobs are to produce new and interesting sources of resumes, and in pursuit of those may talk to head hunters, who get their info by paying someone commission to dial through every tech company's directory looking for unhappy employees (and annoying all the other ones...).

In my experience, this has died down, probably because linkedin spamming is cheaper.

Yes Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33699114)

As an employee of one of the aforementioned companies, I for one can not wait for the inevitable bidding war for my next salary. /sarcasm.

a classic example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33699154)

the heart of the american heartland is still winning over the brains of the american education system.
it is 2010 and we are still funneling our money and votes at the tough-guys of the 1920s.

the punchline: who should the government choose for a Computer Network Defense team?
"It was supposed to be a war fighter unit, not a geek unit,"

And yet, they do seem to understand the importance of brain, rather than brawn: "Intelligence was important to the mission, Campbell said."
for instance, they managed to get an entire army of warriors to.. change their passwords: "Though the task force in the early years lacked clout, it did have some notable successes, veterans said. During Moonlight Maze, it issued the first military-wide order to change passwords, said Marc Sachs, who had been an Army engineer."
but who was able to break right into the warrior networks? "Then the real culprits were identified: A pair of 16-year-old boys in California and a teenager from Israel"
geeks, exactly. possibly homosexual and/or jewish. i'm guessing not brawn. brawn can do things like fixing a two-digit year problem: "protected against any "Y2K" calamity. A few minutes after midnight ... They lit their cigars and watched the fireworks shoot across the sky."
but still, we should probably just spend more. on warriors: "The focus initially was on defense. In 2000, the task force, which had more than doubled in size, took on the offensive mission."
for christ's sake they called something "solar sunrise." i'm not saying they should have to know latin; i'm just saying war-not-brains is the mentality.
we can tell the voters feel it because washington does.

please do your part and vote for a geek.

this has been a public service announcement from the Vote For Pedro committee.
love,
-benny

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