How Google and Apple avoid ruinous competition

f13-iconMark Ames writes: [O]ne the most interesting misconceptions I’ve heard about the ‘Techtopus’ conspiracy [between tech giants in Silicon Valley] is that, while these secret deals to fix recruiting were bad (and illegal), they were also needed to protect innovation by keeping teams together while avoiding spiraling costs.

That was said to me, almost verbatim, over dinner by an industry insider, who quickly understood he’d said something wrong — “But of course, it’s illegal, so it’s wrong,” he corrected himself.

The view that whatever Jobs and Google did to deny workers wages and lock up talent was necessary for innovation is likely much more widely held than publicly uttered. And yet, all the evidence in the pre-trial demonstrates the very opposite: That the non-solicitations stifled innovation.

A perfect example of this can be found in emails (Update: embedded below) and deposition testimony which have emerged, and been reviewed by PandoDaily, in the run up to the trial. The episode occurs in the spring of 2006, just a year after Google and Apple first forged their core secret non-poaching agreements. [Continue reading…]

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