The U.S. Department of Justice has publicly announced that it has ordered Google, Intel, Intuit, Pixar, and Apple to stop entering into “no solicitation” agreements. These agreements are in place to prevent the companies from seeking out and hiring one another’s employees. The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with […]
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U.S. Department of Justice Orders Six Tech Companies, Including Apple, To Cease Engaging in Anti-Poaching Agreements

The U.S. Department of Justice has publicly announced that it has ordered Google, Intel, Intuit, Pixar, and Apple to stop entering into “no solicitation” agreements. These agreements are in place to prevent the companies from seeking out and hiring one another’s employees.

The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with six high technology companies – Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp., Intuit Inc. and Pixar – that prevents them from entering into no solicitation agreements for employees. The department said that the agreements eliminated a significant form of competition to attract highly skilled employees, and overall diminished competition to the detriment of affected employees who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities.

The Department of Justice has also filed an antitrust complaint alongside the proposed settlement to formalize the agreement. The Department of Justice cites deals with Adobe, Apple, Google and Pixar that prevent each company from “directly soliciting” each other’s employees.

– Beginning no later than 2006, Apple and Google executives agreed not to cold call each other’s employees. Apple placed Google on its internal “Do Not Call List,” which instructed employees not to directly solicit employees from the listed companies. Similarly, Google listed Apple among the companies that had special agreements with Google and were part of the “Do Not Cold Call” list;
– Beginning no later than May 2005, senior Apple and Adobe executives agreed not to cold call each other’s employees. Apple placed Adobe on its internal “Do Not Call List” and similarly, Adobe included Apple in its internal list of “Companies that are off limits”;
– Beginning no later than April 2007, Apple and Pixar executives agreed not to cold call each other’s employees. Apple placed Pixar on its internal “Do Not Call List” and senior executives at Pixar instructed human resources personnel to adhere to the agreement and maintain a paper trail;

The report further states that these agreements are “broader than reasonably necessary” and that they were “formed and actively managed” by executives at each company.

The companies will now be required to keep records of compliance of this deal, and the six namned companies could not engage in such activity for five years and include all forms of solicitation and recruiting.

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