US: Lawsuit accuses Samsung, LG of agreeing to not poach each other’s employees

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were accused of agreeing to avoid poaching each other’s US employees, according to a US civil lawsuit filed last week, in what has become a familiar allegation in Silicon Valley.

The proposed class action, filed in a Northern California federal court by an LG sales manager, accuses Samsung and LG of antitrust violations and driving down employee wages. The case is similar to one against Apple Inc, Google and other tech companies which settled last year for $415 million.

The plaintiff, A. Frost, says in the lawsuit that a recruiter contacted Frost via LinkedIn in 2013, seeking to fill a position with Samsung.

According to the lawsuit, the recruiter then informed Frost the same day: “I made a mistake! I’m not supposed to poach LG for Samsung!!! Sorry! The two companies have an agreement that they won’t steal each other’s employees.”

It is “implausible” that such a deal in the United States could have been reached without the consent of each company’s corporate parent in South Korea, says the lawsuit, which does not state a specific damages amount.

Of course, the lawsuit might remind you of a similar one that was filed against Apple, Google, and a number of other large tech companies last year that was eventually settled for $415 million. According to the plaintiffs, this anti-poaching agreement was made in an effort to keep wages relatively low, and centers around emails sent from Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs to Google executive Eric Schmidt, which said that Google was “relentlessly recruiting” from Apple’s iPod team, and asked for the poaching to stop.

Full Content: Digital Trends

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