The malign nature of tech companies

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There is a fascinating report in the FT this morning that says a law suit has been settled in the US. The law suit was a US class action and was between about 64,000 staff of Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel and their employers.

I am sure the detail of the action was complex but the nub seems to have been quite simple: these employers agreed not to poach staff from each other. The motive can, I am sure, be easily presumed: they wanted to prevent a market in wages breaking out.

Now I am not saying every market in wages is good. That for bankers is clearly harmful, and the market that pushes many into poverty is equally harmful. But these are polarities, and it tends to be extremes that need to be regulated. But in ranges where there can be a market - because there are enough participants on both sides - then by and large I am in favour of markets having a role in setting labour rates (subject to recognition of collective bargaining).

Here the intention was obvious: the claim was that these companies were refusing to create a market in wages for their own benefit. It's a classic case of capital seeking to suppress the return to labour.

And another example of the malign nature of tech companies.