Samsung, LG sued over US employee anti-poaching agreement


A civil lawsuit was filed last week, accusing Samsung and LG of agreeing to avoid poaching each other’s US employees.

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

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 the one against Apple, Google and other tech companies, which settled last year for $415 million.

Samsung and LG however, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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 US 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.

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