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Google conspiracy to crack down on Silicon Valley salaries exposed

Leaked information from Google insiders show that managers were required by CEO Eric Schmidt to make counter offers within just one hour to any employee who had been approached by social networking giant Facebook in a bid to minimize staff turnover. Schmidt is said to be 'embarrassed and disgusted' that these business tactics were leaked less than 24 hours after the policy was put into place back in 2007. Workers have now filed a lawsuit against Google.

Major players within the IT industry, including Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe, are believed to have an agreement in place which prevents them from poaching each other’s employees with promises of higher salaries and improved working conditions. Facebook, however, is not a part of what some are calling a 'conspiracy' to manage Silicon Valley salaries, and has allegedly made a number of employment offers to 'Googlers' - those who work for the company.

Facebook have seemingly made no secret of the fact that they approach high level Google employees. Paul Buchheit, for example, who now works for the social network, co-founded Google's FriendFeed and even worked on branding and marketing for the search engine in the past, working his way up to management level before joining Facebook. It is estimated that between 5 and 10 percent of current Facebook employees have been poached from Google, or have worked for Google in the past.

Read more: Facebook To Increase Staff Numbers By 50 Percent By End 2009

The question is: why Google? Google are known for providing some of the best working environments for their employees, not only within Silicon Valley, but across the world.

Swimming pools, gymnasiums, and free beauty treatments aren't uncommon, yet rumors are circulating that not everyone is as happy as they seem.

Many Google workers have been taking to knowledge-sharing site Quora to blast the tech company, claiming, amongst other things, that it's 'hard to get promoted within the organization'.

Read more: Google employees vent frustration online

The four tech companies accused in the lawsuit have agreed to pay a settlement of $324 million, but as yet this amount has not been approved by US District Judge Lucy Koh. Koh released news of the policy on July 11th following a bid by Google to seal the information from investors and from the public.