A US Judge has ordered Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, to appear before the court for questioning about an anti-poaching agreement with other web firms like Google, Intel and other tech companies.
The lawsuit was filed by five ex-employees of the firms who are suing the them under the federal Sherman antitrust law and California’s own antitrust law, the Cartwright Act.
The lawsuit alleges that the companies illegally agreed not to hire each other’s employees, by reportedly engaging in a ‘no poaching’ deal.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include Lucasfilm, Pixar, Intuit, and Adobe Systems.
Judge Koh ordered Cook to be questioned by plaintiff attorneys for four hours along with Intel chief executive, Paul Otellin. Other executives from several other tech firms.
Apart from Cook, Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, is expected to be questioned on 20 February this year.
According to Reuters, Koh said that at the time the no-poaching agreements were forged, top executives felt a collective approach toward hiring was more efficient than dealing with employees individually.
"That, I think, is the biggest problem for the defendants," said Koh, who did not identify the executives.
Koh refused attempts by the companies’ to dismiss the case before it went to trial.