Six Tech Heavyweights Settle Antitrust Probe of Hiring Practices

Ryan Whitwam

According to an announcement made by the US Justice Department today, six major tech companies  - Apple, Intel, Google, Intuit, Pixar, and Adobe - have reached a settlement in an antitrust investigation. The case centered around an agreement that the companies had to not scoop up each other's employees. The Justice Department calls this "restrained competition" for employees.

Several of these companies had agreements not to "cold call" employees of the other company with job offers. Some, like Google and Intuit, decided not to make offers to the other's employees at all. The settlement "prohibits the companies from engaging in anticompetitive no solicitation agreements." The catch, this will only be in effect for five years. At which time we could go through this whole process again. Additionally, a Judge still must approve the deal.

The Justice Department indicated some of these anticompetitive arrangements went back at least five years. They further stated that this investigation was necessary as it reduced the ability of high tech workers to compete for jobs. It was effectively salary-fixing.

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