Pixar, Lucasfilm, Apple, Google Must Face Suit Alleging Deal Not to Poach Staff

1986: Pixar
Walt Disney Studios/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Jobs buys the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm for $10 million and renames it Pixar.

The lawsuit claims seven companies violated antitrust laws by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees.

NEW YORK - Walt Disney's Pixar unit, Lucasfilm, Google and Apple are among seven companies that must face a lawsuit claiming they violated antitrust laws by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, Bloomberg News reported.

A federal judge in San Jose, Calif. said that even if she dismisses some claims against the companies, the plaintiffs will have a chance to amend and re-file their complaint.

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of employees, mirrors claims that the companies settled in 2010 following a U.S. Justice Department probe.

The companies had agreed not to place so-called “cold calls” to try and recruit competitors' employees, the government said back then.

The lawsuit also named tech companies Intel Corp., Adobe Systems and Intuit as defendants.

The judge's decision means that the defendants must produce documents describing their agreements, Bloomberg said, adding that potential damages could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Google said that is has “always actively and aggressively recruited top talent,” according to Bloomberg.

The other defendants declined to comment or weren't available to comment, it said.