Read the whole story
I saw the headline of 'Others sued' and wondered who the others were. It's the six listed in the 2nd last paragraph. Here is the justice department press release. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/September/10-at-1076.html
It's one thing to screw over your customers, but it's rare to see a story about a group of firms purposefully keeping down their best employees salaries. Very cold.
I list them at the end of the first paragraph.
I read the press release... 'sued for wage fixing' is a bit misleading. They were sued for 'restraining competition'. What happened was Apple entered into an agreement with Google to promise not to cold call their employees if google promised not to cold call Apple's employees. Apple had this agreement with Pixar, and google had it with Intuit and so on....
So they weren't deciding what should be a max salary for a job, they were protecting their resources (employees) by trying to make sure they weren't recruited by their competitors.
While this makes sense for a company to protect their best employees, they should do it by offering them enough benefits and money so they don't want to leave. Not by stopping others from offering them jobs. This then allows the company to pay that employee less. The employee could still go apply somewhere else, but they wouldn't get a phone call with a huge offer.
Actually the anti-poaching agreement they had was much worse.
So they weren't able to poach, but they also weren't able to outbid...
Example: You applied at Pixar while still working at Google. If Pixar wanted you, they'd have to inform Google that they were going to hire you, Google would then tell them you were making "50k/year" for example and Pixar would NOT be able to outbid that... Pretty sick stuff..
Also, most of the positions affected by this collusion were non-engineering positions. Just happens to be an engineer suing, but wasn't true... I'm an artist and it affected me. I work for Pixar.
It happens in many other industries, and companies do make 'understandings' not to call each others employees / or offer them a job. Second issue which I've noticed, that 'wage fixing' is very prevalent across the industries as well. I think problem lies in the way the laws are made, which are not good enough to protect employees interests and the monitoring mechanism. It is just one aspect of the much larger problem, the way the government is elected/run (read politicians as they are the ones who eventually do this).