Justice Department orders Apple, Google, others to end ban on cross-hiring

Looks like Apple, Google and others will have to put a stop to their handshake deals over not hiring each others employees, thanks to the US Justice Department:

According to the complaint, the six companies entered into agreements that restrained competition between them for highly skilled employees. The agreements between Apple and Google, Apple and Adobe, Apple and Pixar and Google and Intel prevented the companies from directly soliciting each other’s employees. An agreement between Google and Intuit prevented Google from directly soliciting Intuit employees.

“The agreements challenged here restrained competition for affected employees without any procompetitive justification and distorted the competitive process,” said Molly S. Boast, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “The proposed settlement resolves the department’s antitrust concerns with regard to these no solicitation agreements.”

The government was concerned that the deals prevented employees at the companies involved from getting competitive salary and job offers via "cold calls" aka poaching or active solicitations.

The proposed settlement between the DOJ and the companies prevents them entering into any no-poaching agreements, or any agreements against cross-hiring, for 5 years.

So we pretty much figure the iOS teams' phones are going to be ringing off the hook from now until 2015, right?

[DOJ, thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Justice Department orders Apple, Google, others to end ban on cross-hiring


Hmmmm wonder whats going to come out of this. I'm sure they have a little unwritten rule to not do it still. But with all the hardball being played in the Smartphone and tablet market things could get ugly real fast.

So now the gubment can control hiring in the private enterprise? We are moving closer and closer to socialism people.

So we pretty much figure the Android teams’ phones are going to be ringing off the hook from now until 2015, right?

@Wayne .. they are not controlling hiring... they are actually making it better for the employees... Imagine if your employer's competitor can't hire because of some deals that they made between each other..
YOU END UP WITH NO LEVERAGE... that's actually an anti-socialism ruling right there...
Anyway my only problem with this is .. why is it 5 years.. why not forever..

When is the last time the government stepped in and actually helped somebody? Social Security? Medicare/Medicade? Katrina? I could list more but the obvious answer is NEVER. Anything the government touches, they make worse. Anytime the government tells a private business how much they an make and who they can and cannot hire, it is a closer step towards socialism. If fact, it is the very definition of socialism. Besides, where in The Constitution does it give the federal government the power to do this sort of thing? Answer: NOWHERE!

"So we pretty much figure the iOS teams’ phones are going to be ringing off the hook from now until 2015, right?"
Nah, probably Apple's marketing team.

Well that explains why all their employees were 'hired' away (wink.) Clearly there were no agreements in place at Palm. PAAAAAALM!