Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said she declined the requests of two senior executives at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to limit the social network giant’s practice of recruiting employees of the search engine giant in 2008.
Sandberg revealed the position of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) regarding the widely practiced anti-poaching agreement between technology companies including Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and Intuit Inc (NASDAQ:INTU), and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Lucas Film and Pixar in a statement filed in the federal court in San Jose on March 21.
Software and hardware engineers, programmers, Web developers, animators and other technical workers at Silicon Valley filed a lawsuit against alleging that the leading technology companies engaged in an “overarching conspiracy” to eliminate competition. The plaintiffs argued that the anti-poaching agreement enabled technology companies to artificially maintain low wages, thus a violation of antitrust law.
Pixar and Lucas Film, the animation studio and visual-effects specialists respectively of Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) as well as Intuit Inc (NASDAQ:INTU) agreed to settle the antitrust case with the United States Department of Justice in 2010.
Last October, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the Silicon Valley workers satisfied all the requirements necessary to pursue a class action case against the technology companies.
In her statement, Sandberg said Jonathan Rosenberg, a former senior vice president at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) contacted her and “expressed concern about what he described as the perceived rate at which Facebook could hire employees from Google.” She added that Ormid Kordestani, another former senior vice president at the search engine giant approached her regarding the issue.
“I declined at that time to limit Facebook’s recruitment or hiring of Google employees. Nor have I made or authorized any such agreement between Facebook and Google since that time,” declared Sandberg. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) continued to recruit employees from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
The stock price of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) dropped almost 5% to $64.10 per share while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) also fell more than 2% to $1,157. 93 a share on Monday.