The argument could be made that the do-not-call arrangements existed as a means to prevent the disruption to major projects that can occur when there is frequent turnover in staffing. Furthermore, in the cutthroat industry of technological development, there is the paradoxical coexistence of “what are my competitors up to?” curiosity alongside the keep-it-close-to-the-chest fear that someone else will steal your ideas and get it to market first. It’s natural for companies to want to protect their standings in the rat race however they can. But healthy competition is difficult when “cross-pollination” of the workforce is suppressed and specific information about the job market is systematically kept hush-hush. Whatever the actual objective in this case was, it is estimated that the no-poaching collusion between these hi-tech giants ultimately deprived their workers of approximately $9 billion in wages.
In theory, this could have had ripple effects beyond Silicon Valley, as well. If developers, engineers, programmers, and other hi-tech employees had been earning higher wages in California, that might have incentivized companies in other areas of the country to raise their salaries for comparable positions so as to keep their local talent from migrating westward. As such, more than just those intimately involved in this case may be tuning in, come May 27th of this year, when the jury trial is set to begin.