Steve Jobs reportedly threatened Palm over anti-poaching agreement
Documents released in a civil lawsuit against Apple and other high-profile tech companies claim Steve Jobs threatened to sue Palm if it refused to sign an anti-poaching agreement. Defendants in the lawsuit asked the court to keep these documents sealed, but Judge Lucy Koh denied this request, according to Reuters.
The civil suit focuses on anti-poaching agreements signed by Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar. The agreements would prevent these companies from stealing talented employees from each other. The DOJ eventually stepped in and forced the companies to stop entering into these anticompetitive no solicitation agreements.
Former Palm CEO Edward Colligan said in an affidavit that the Jobs tried to coerce Palm into participating in an anti-poaching agreement after the company hired a handful of Apple employees.
"As a solution, Mr. Jobs proposed an arrangement between Palm and Apple by which neither company would hire the other's employees, including high-tech employees," Colligan said. "Mr. Jobs also suggested that if Palm did not agree to such an arrangement, Palm could face lawsuits alleging infringement of Apple's many patents."
Colligan provided copies of emails sent between himself and Jobs to support this accusation.
Tim Cook is slated to give a deposition on this matter, and other high-ranking executives from Google and Intel are also expected to be questioned in the next few weeks.
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