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Court filings show Steve Jobs told Google to stop poaching Apple engineers

Following reports earlier today that U.S. District Judge Lucy H Koh would allow a lawsuit claiming Apple, Google and five other companies entered “no-poach” agreements, court documents made public today show in 2007 former Apple CEO Steve Jobs asked Google’s Eric Schmidt to “stop trying to recruit an Apple engineer.” Reuters reported:

The email from Jobs to Schmidt was disclosed on Friday in the course of civil litigation against Apple, Google and five other tech companies. The proposed class action, brought by five software engineers, accuses the companies of conspiring to keep employee compensation low by eliminating competition for skilled labor. 

According to excerpts of the documents posted by Reuters, Jobs wrote the following in an email to Schmidt after someone at Google tried to recruit an Apple engineer:

“I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this.” 

Schmidt apparently responded by forwarding the email to someone else at Google, requesting they fulfill Jobs’ request. Google’s staffing director responded to the email claiming the Google employee that attempted to contact the Apple engineer would be fired:

[The employee] “will be terminated within the hour…Please extend my apologies as appropriate to Steve Jobs”

The court case will continue, but Reuters noted the Judge handling the civil lawsuit said it could potentially become several classic actions.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.