District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the companies' bid to dismiss claims brought under the federal Sherman antitrust law and California's own antitrust law, the Cartwright Act.
Koh said the existence of "Do Not Cold Call" agreements among various defendants "supports the plausible inference that the agreements were negotiated, reached, and policed at the highest levels". Koh added, "The fact that all six identical bilateral agreements were reached in secrecy among seven defendants in a span of two years suggests that these agreements resulted from collusion, and not from coincidence."
This lawsuit was brought by five software engineers who accuse the companies of conspiring to limit job mobility and pay.
The companies were already targeted by the Justice Department in 2010 but managed to settle that investigation.