About the Film


When Rules Don’t Apply tells the story of a large group of leading technology companies that were charged and prosecuted for collusion under antitrust law because of their secret agreement to suppress wages and limit job opportunities of their own employees. The case provides a window into high tech culture and their attitudes towards regulation in their strategy to achieve and maintain market dominance. 

What began as a secret “no-poach” agreement in the mid-2000s between Apple and Google intended to constrain their employees’ wages and employment opportunities, eventually grew to include many of the elite tech companies of Silicon Valley. By the time the Department of Justice and the California Attorney General’s office got wind of the conspiracy, more than 100,000 tech workers had been impacted — the very people upon whom these companies depended for their extraordinary success. Using antitrust law, attorneys for the government brought charges against the conspirators, effectively for price-fixing and restraint of trade — basic violations to antitrust enforcement.

This remarkable case raises questions about the importance and application of antitrust law in the 21st century to preserve fair competition and the very institutions of our democracy.

Hosted by: Rachael Myrow, Journalist
Veena Dubal, Professor of Law, UC Hastings


The Project



▶️ THREE video shorts




When Rules Don’t Apply is free to access and share through this website. DVDs and film downloads will soon be available to purchase.

We encourage you to share this project to further the discussion on antitrust and society. If you’re interested in hosting a screening event, please email us at: info@filmmakerscollaborative.org

The project was made possible by a grant from the eBay Settlement Fund. Created as a result of antitrust litigation pursued by the Attorney General of the State of California, the purpose of the Fund is to enhance Californians’ ability to gain technology related skills, education, and employment.


Our Goal


We are sharing the basics of antitrust law and revealing the impact of wage suppression and no-poach agreements on the American economic system and way of life. In educating the public, we hope that workers become informed about how to utilize antitrust law to protect their labor rights.