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October 24, 2013 Class Cert Order

October 24, 2013 Class Cert Order

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Published by pandoeditorial
In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple's Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google's Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other's employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple's board of directors emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt "got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple."
In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple's Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google's Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other's employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple's board of directors emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt "got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple."

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Published by: pandoeditorial on Jan 23, 2014
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Case No.: 11-CV-02509-LHK ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION
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   F  o  r   t   h  e   N  o  r   t   h  e  r  n   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t  o   f   C  a   l   i   f  o  r  n   i  a
 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT  NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION IN RE: HIGH-TECH EMPLOYEE ANTITRUST LITIGATION ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 11-CV-02509-LHK ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO:
ALL ACTIONS
 ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiffs Michael Devine, Mark Fichtner, Siddharth Hariharan, Brandon Marshall, and Daniel Stover (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), individually and on behalf of a class of all those similarly situated, allege antitrust claims against their former employers, Adobe Systems Inc. (“Adobe”), Apple Inc. (“Apple”), Google Inc. (“Google”), Intel Corp. (“Intel”), Intuit Inc. (“Intuit”), Lucasfilm Ltd. (“Lucasfilm”), and Pixar (collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants conspired to suppress, and actually did suppress, employee compensation to artificially low levels  by agreeing not to solicit each other’s employees in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and Section 4 of the Clayton Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15. On April 5, 2013, the Court granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification with leave to amend.
See
Apr. 5 Class Cert. Order, ECF No. 382. Currently before
Case5:11-cv-02509-LHK Document531 Filed10/24/13 Page1 of 86
 
 
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Case No.: 11-CV-02509-LHK ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
   U  n   i   t  e   d   S   t  a   t  e  s   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t   C  o  u  r   t
   F  o  r   t   h  e   N  o  r   t   h  e  r  n   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t  o   f   C  a   l   i   f  o  r  n   i  a
the Court is Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Motion for Class Certification.
See
Pls.’ Suppl. Mot. Class. Cert. (“Suppl. Class Cert. Mot.”), ECF No. 418. Defendants filed an opposition,
see
 Defs.’ Opp’n to Pls.’ Suppl. Mot. Class Cert. (“Suppl. Opp’n”), ECF No. 439, and Plaintiffs filed a reply, Pls.’ Reply Supp. Suppl. Mot. Class. Cert. (“Suppl. Reply”), ECF No. 455. The Court held a hearing on Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Motion for Class Certification on August 8, 2013.
See
ECF No. 495. Having considered the parties’ submissions, arguments, the relevant law, and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Motion for Class Certification and CERTIFIES Plaintiffs’ proposed class of technical employees (“Technical Class”).
I.
 
BACKGROUND A.
 
Factual Background
 
1.
 
The Parties
Defendants are leading high tech companies, each with a principal place of business in the San Francisco-Silicon Valley area of California. Apple is a market leader in consumer computer  products and software. Defs.’ Opp’n to Pls. Mot. Class. Cert. (“Opp’n”) at 5, ECF No. 209. In 2011, Apple’s total revenues exceeded $108 billion.
 Id 
. Google is the world’s leading internet search provider. Report of Dr. Edward E. Leamer (“Leamer Rep.”) ¶ 15, ECF No. 190. Google went public in 2004, and reached revenues of nearly $38 billion in 2011.
 Id 
. Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker.
 Id.
 ¶ 16. In 2011, Intel earned approximately $54 billion. Adobe specializes in digital media and marketing software.
See id.
 ¶ 13. In 2009, Adobe earned nearly $3 billion in revenues.
 Id 
. Intuit specializes in financial planning and tax preparation  programs. Opp’n at 5. In 2011, the company’s revenues exceeded $3.8 billion. Leamer Rep. ¶ 17. Lucasfilm is a film production company known for its computer animation expertise and for  producing box office hits including the Star Wars films and the Indiana Jones franchise.
 Id.
 ¶ 18. Pixar is a leading computer animation film studio.
 Id.
 ¶ 19. In 2006, Walt Disney Productions acquired Pixar for approximately $7.4 billion.
 Id 
.  Named Plaintiffs are software engineers who were former employees of Defendants. Devine worked for Adobe in the State of Washington from October of 2006 to July of 2008.
See
Consolidated Amended Complaint (“CAC”) ¶ 16, ECF No. 65; Decl. Ann B. Shaver in Supp. Pls.’
Case5:11-cv-02509-LHK Document531 Filed10/24/13 Page2 of 86
 
 
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Case No.: 11-CV-02509-LHK ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION
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   U  n   i   t  e   d   S   t  a   t  e  s   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t   C  o  u  r   t
   F  o  r   t   h  e   N  o  r   t   h  e  r  n   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t  o   f   C  a   l   i   f  o  r  n   i  a
Mot. for Class Cert. (“Shaver Decl.”), Ex. 6 ¶ 1, ECF No. 291. Fichtner worked for Intel in Arizona from July of 1993 through November of 2006 and again from May of 2008 through May of 2011.
See
CAC ¶ 17; Shaver Decl., Ex. 7 ¶ 1. Hariharan worked for Lucasfilm in California from January of 2007 through August of 2008.
See
CAC ¶ 18; Shaver Decl., Ex. 8
 
 ¶ 1. Marshall worked for Adobe in California from July of 2006 through December of 2006.
See
CAC ¶ 19; Shaver Decl., Ex. 9 ¶ 1. Finally, Stover worked for Intuit in California from at least November of 2006 through December of 2009.
See
CAC ¶ 20; Shaver Decl., Ex. 10 ¶ 1.
2.
 
Market for High Tech Employees
Plaintiffs assert that in a properly functioning and lawfully competitive labor market, each Defendant would compete for employees by soliciting current employees from one or more of the other Defendants.
See
CAC
 
 ¶ 41. This method of recruiting, to which Defendants refer as “cold calling,” includes communicating directly in any manner—including orally, in writing, telephonically, or electronically—with another company’s employee who has not otherwise applied for a job.
 Id.
Plaintiffs allege that cold calling is a key competitive tool that companies use to recruit employees, particularly high tech employees with advanced skills and abilities.
 Id.
 45. Through recruiting employees from competitors, a company is able to take advantage of the efforts its rival has expended in soliciting, interviewing, and training skilled labor, while simultaneously inflicting a cost on the rival by removing an employee on whom the rival may depend.
 Id.
 ¶ 44.
 
Plaintiffs further contend that the use of cold calling among Defendants commonly increases total compensation and mobility for all of Defendants’ employees.
See id.
 ¶¶ 48, 50. Most directly, Plaintiffs allege that the practice of cold calling provides the recipient of a cold call with opportunities to secure higher wages either by switching to a rival company or by negotiating increased compensation with the recipient’s current employer.
 Id.
 ¶ 46. Plaintiffs further allege that the compensation effects of cold calling are not limited to those individuals who receive the calls. Rather, Plaintiffs allege, the effects of cold calling (and the effects of eliminating cold calling) have a broader, common impact on Defendants’ salaried employees, especially their technical employees.
 Id.
 ¶ 50.
Case5:11-cv-02509-LHK Document531 Filed10/24/13 Page3 of 86

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