back to article US sues/settles with Apple, Google, Intel...

On Friday, the US Department of Justice sued and then announced a settlement with Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar, in a move that will stop the six companies from entering into what the DoJ characterized as "anticompetitive employee solicitation agreements." According to the DoJ's announcement of the suit and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this mean also that companies that put no poaching agreements into contracts would be banned from doing so?

    For example, the company I work for currently has as part of the hiring contract that if an employee leaves the said employee will not attempt to contact current employees of the company for up to 1 year.

    Anon, boss may be watching.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If its only cold calling...

    If the agreements only prevented cold calling, you would think that any employees unhappy with their wages would still look for better offers from these other companies, whereas any employees content with their wages and job would continue to work and not be harrasssed by other companies.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Another AC for obvious reasons

    How about the informal non poaching agreements that semiconductor manufactures have with their suppliers. I have been prevented from switching jobs not because I worked for the manufacturer, but because I worked for another OEM that supported that manufacturer.

    BB because watches me while I try to find another job.

  4. A B 3

    Free Market

    Nothing epitomizes the free market more than some manager changing companies every 6 months while the people who did the real work get nothing.

    Shouldn't the government be doing real work too, by untangling the GFC?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ok, now what?

    I think Goolge should silently make an offer to every employee at apple, vmware, xerox. A take-it-or-leave it offer of double their salary.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free market economics

    The free market is a good thing, and big businesses are in favour. Until they're not.

    It's ironic that people who campaign for a free market without regulation "interfering" still think that they should be able to restrict the free market when they think it needs it.

    Don't get me wrong, capitalism works, better than the alternatives, but it has holes that need patching with regulation, and examples like this show that big businesses know that too. So next time you hear banks or the CBI arguing against any regulation, look at what they're doing to restrict competition themselves.

  7. Tom 13

    Dammit! Another No Call list shot to hell.

    Now I won't be able to eat dinner without Apple, Google et al calling me about jobs.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I am not a number...

    ...but, on the other hand, I wouldn't bet on it!

    At the end of the nineties, I worked for a large financial institution that was implementing a new system. The software company (SC) supplying the system had a "no-poaching" agreement with the large financial institution (LFI).

    The SC had previously supplied an earlier version of the software, and a certain employee in the LFI had become rather expert at configuration, setup, programming, etc. The SC tried to hire this employee. Apparently, discussions went to a very high level, and the LFI and SC decided amongst themselves that the job offer would be withdrawn. At the time, the employee stayed at the LFI, but was understandably unhappy with both the LFI and the SC.

    I suppose it would be rather difficult to police informal "no poaching" arrangements and they will remain a fact of life, but it cannot be right that ones future can be decided behind closed doors. Had I been the employee, I would have resigned immediately, whatever my circumstances. And on that heroic note, I remain,

    Yours truly,

    AC (a real one)!

  9. David Gale

    Different strokes...

    Notable that the DoJ will busy themselves in something like this whilst Microsoft openly admits to having deficiencies in the way it manages its own Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Ah, but then that allows a US company to obtain foreign IPR as part of an aggressive arm of US foreign policy. One rule for one...

  10. Michael C

    dumb suit

    We need the US Courts to ban noncompete agreements, not mutually agreed upon cold calling. Now, i could see if the agreement was "we won't HIRE youre employees," yea, that prevents me from getting a job. The "no cold calling" thing is simply an honest thing to do. Don't shoot for stealing the competitions hand picked staff. If that staff is looking for a new job, let them be open, but I'd actually like to prevent job offers from ringing my desk line when I'm NOT looking for a new job. That's just good business.

    Non-compete agreements? That I won't go work for the competition for 6 months to as long as 3 years? In my business, I have few eployers to choose from. I left a job recently at a major medical data company, and per my agreement, i could not go work for any company that handled medical records, insurance processing, or that in any way competed with my previous employer. Well, that eliminated about 50 opportunities, leaving me with banking, law firms, and tax services. Now I'm with one of those, and if my contract expires in 6 months, I still won;t be able to work in medical, and now I won;t be able to work in one of the others either, further limiting who i can work for.

    To an extent, I can agree with non-compete, especially in sales organizations. Taking my customer list with me to the competition and cold calling my former clients? that should be verbotten (unless they were "my" clients before I worked with the other firm). However, being a systems analyst for one firm or another? What does saving a company money in their server architecture have anything to do with "competing" yet I'm bound by SIGNIFICANT financial panalties if they find out i took a job with the competition.

    Yes, i checked, it IS legal in my state for them to do this (even if I take a job in another state!), and some people I call collegues actually got sued for violating their terms.

    Preventing mutuial cold calling agreements? this is not a big deal. Mutual agreements to not hire at all, or binging contracts preventing current employees from seeking jobs with the cometition? thats an issue we need the courts involved in... .

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