The Northern District of California denied defendant Silicon Valley high-tech companies’ Twombly/Iqbal motion to dismiss, Sherman Act claims by a putative employee class that defendants conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and restrict employee mobility.  In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litig., Master No. 11-CV-02509 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 18, 2012).  The class action followed a DOJ complaint against Apple and several other companies regarding “Do Not Cold Call” agreements.  Under the agreements, each company placed the names of the other company’s skilled employees on a “Do Not Cold Call” list and instructed recruiters not to cold call those employees.  Defendants moved to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint arguing primarily that plaintiffs had failed to allege facts to support the claim of an “overarching conspiracy,” and that conspiracy consisting of six bilateral “Do Not Cold Call” agreements is implausible on its face in light of economic principles.  The Court disagreed, citing allegations that one of only three individuals (including Steve Jobs) had significant influence over at least one party to each of the six agreements, the “identical nature” of the agreements, and an alleged incident in which Mr. Jobs tried and failed to convince Palm’s CEO to enter into a similar agreement.  The court found that plaintiffs’ allegations that eliminating cold calling under the agreements cumulatively suppressed compensation and mobility of all class members were adequate at the pleading stage to establish the plausibility of the alleged conspiracy.