Report: DOJ nears deal with tech firms on staff poaching

The DOJ may soon reach a settlement with Google, Adobe, Apple and others after investigating agreements not to poach staff

The U.S. Department of Justice is nearing a settlement with technology vendors including Apple, Google and others over an investigation of their hiring practices, according to a report.

The DOJ began an investigation in June last year into an alleged agreement among technology companies not to poach one another's staff. At the time, the investigation surprised antitrust and employment law experts, who noted that there was no shortage of other antitrust problems to which the DOJ could turn its attention, and that businesses in many states could use non-compete agreements in employment contracts to prevent competitors poaching their staff.

Now the DOJ is wrapping up negotiation of a settlement with a number of the technology companies concerned by the investigation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

By agreeing a settlement, Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe Systems, Intuit and Pixar Animation could avoid appearing in court, said the report, citing people familiar with the matter.

Staff with inside knowledge of how a competitors' products are built are clearly a valuable resource. But IT vendors are often forced to collaborate with their competitors to ensure that products work well with one another, requiring a degree of trust between the companies. Agreeing not to poach staff could be one way to build that trust.

While such agreements may help technology vendors, by making it easier to retain key staff and to cooperate on product development, the reduced competition for staff is likely to make it harder for employees to negotiate salary raises.

The DOJ's investigation initially concerned many more companies, but Microsoft, IBM and Yahoo are no longer among them, the report said.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags U.S. Department of Justicebusiness issuesantitrustAdobe SystemsIntuitlegalPixar Animation StudiosintelApplepersonnelGoogle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?