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Harry First, a professor at New York University School of Law who specializes in antitrust, said on Monday the exchange between Sandberg and Rosenberg at a minimum confirms how board relationships between the tech companies initially drove the agreements not to solicit from each other, which then expanded from there.
"That does not look good to the jury," First said.
However, the defendants can also argue that the refusal of companies like Facebook to limit hiring shows that any alleged conspiracy could not have impacted the broader job market and wages in general.
In 2010, Google, Apple, Adobe Systems Inc, Intel and others agreed to a settlement of a U.S. Justice Department probe that barred them from agreeing not to poach each other's employees.
The companies have since been fighting the civil antitrust lawsuit. They argue the plaintiffs cannot successfully prove an overarching conspiracy to impact wages.
Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley company which rejected a request to curtail its hiring efforts. In 2007, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs threatened to file a patent lawsuit against Palm if that company's chief executive didn't agree to refrain from poaching Apple employees, according to correspondence filed in court.
However, then Palm CEO Edward Colligan told Jobs that the plan was