folks-importtool to import meta-contacts data from Pidgin. So if Pidgin knows
firstname.lastname@example.org the same person,
folks-importwill catch Empathy up-to-speed.
Now would be a good time to double-check your "Excuses for not switching to Empathy" list.
Thanks to Philip for writing the tool.
We've also got a nearly-working Pidgin backend to let Empathy support this functionality native in its Import wizard, but it was too late in the Gnome 2.32 release cycle to squeeze it in.
And farther into the future, Folks should perform reasonably aggressive auto-linking, which should make even semi-automated linking like this unnecessary.
If you've got AIM accounts, you may bump into bgo#629311. See the workaround.