Facebook’s Sandberg Refused To Collude With Google, Other Tech Titans

As Silicon Valley tech giants were said to be engaging in an agreement not to recruit each others’ employees, former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive and now Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg refused to play the old boys club game.

Facebook's Sandberg Refused To Collude With Google, Other Tech Titans

2011 lawsuit: case may expand to include Microsoft, Comcast

The issue first came to light in 2011 with a lawsuit filed by Silicon Valley tech employees against Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU), Lucasfilm and Pixar. The case could expand to include Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), according to a CNBC report.

Lawsuit claims to have e-mails between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt

The suit represents more than 50,000 tech workers and claims to have email exchanges from Steve Jobs and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Eric Schmidt to prove their assertions.

On October 24, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh granted plaintiffs’ motion for certification in a class action charging the tech companies conspired from approximately 2005 to 2009 to suppress the pay of technical, creative, and other salaried employees, including by agreeing not to actively recruit each others’ employees.

Violation of antitrust laws?

An 86 page court order said that “based on the extensive documentary evidence, economic theory, data, and expert statistical modeling, Plaintiffs’ methodology demonstrates that common issues are likely to predominate over individual issues.”

If found guilty, the tech titans would have violated anti-trust laws.

Sandberg development

Sandberg has testified she refused to cooperate after being contacted by two senior Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) officials requesting her to fall in line.  Her May 17, 2013, statement was filed in federal court in San Jose, California last Friday.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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