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Google vs Facebook: Embarrassing new documents reveal just how much the companies hate each other

Google is not exactly coming up smelling of roses after US judge Lucy Koh revealed some documents demonstrating the company's desperate attempts to sabotage Facebook.

The search giant, as well as Apple, Intel and Adobe are currently being investigated over allegations of conspiring to control wages. 64,000 tech workers have accused the companies of agreeing not to hire each other's talent.

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However, Facebook wasn't part of this apparent pact. Several years ago, the social network was in the middle of an aggressive recruitment drive, in which it tried to take Google employees for itself.

Understandably, Google wasn't best pleased with this, and so resorted to some desperate measures in order to resist the tech world's then hottest new property's advancements.

Back in 2007, Google was said to have established a policy whereby it would provide employees who had received job offers from Facebook counter-offers of its own within an hour.

Newly-released documents confirm that this was indeed the case. An email chain dated 13 November 2007 demonstrates just how worried Google's executives were.

Vijay Gill, an engineering manager at Google, forwarded a message, reading, "I just got word that Google is open to significantly enhancing the offers to candidates who also have offers from Facebook. The company is also instituting a policy in which we are committed to providing counter-offers within an hour to Googlers who give notice about getting a Facebook offer."

He accompanied this with a comment of his own: "Is this true? If so, it appears to reward folks applying to facebook (sic), and appears to contravene our equal pay for equal performance policy. I am disturbed by this policy, even though I recently lost one engineer to facebook (sic)."

The news was then leaked by an unnamed executive, prompting a furious message from then CEO Eric Schmidt, saying, "Since I announced our 1 hour policy exactly 24 hours ago we should be embarrassed and disgusted by this leak."

In a separate incident two-and-a-half years later, Google appeared to entertain the idea of getting co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to personally poach Facebook employees.

"[Then Intel CEO Paul Otellini and venture capitalist John Doerr] asked who was reaching out to the target Facebookers," wrote Prasad Setty, Google's vice president of compensation, on 19 April 2010. "They suggested that we have Larry/Sergey ... reach out rather than the Staffing leads."

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It turns out that not all of the fighting was done behind the veil of the web. In another email, a Google staffing employee admitted to warning Facebook recruiters directly at a fair in 2008.

"Even though it was an open event, we approached the recruiters at the time and ... gave them a warning to (sic) we would be watching them," wrote Arnnon Geshuri, the Google staff member in question.

Image credit: Flickr (Blesky Miss)