2 Comments

Summary:

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel Corp., Intuit and Pixar, which will prevent them from signing no-solicitation agreements for employees. It’s been widely rumored that high-tech companies entered these agreements to eliminate competition for skilled employees.

383476178_8fe0f5e767_z

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel Corp., Intuit and Pixar, which will prevent them from signing no-solicitation agreements for employees. It’s been widely rumored that high-tech companies entered these agreements to eliminate competition for skilled employees. So far, these companies have restrained from cold-calling each other’s employees to offer them jobs. The complaint indicated that the agreements were formed and actively managed by senior executives of these companies.

This was clearly bad news for the employees. The DOJ’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and offered a proposed settlement.  If the settlement is accepted by the court, it will remain in effect for five years, and there will be no anti-competitive agreements.

Here are some juicy bits from the complaint:

  • 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;
  • Beginning no later than September 2007, Google and Intel executives agreed not to cold call each other’s employees. In its hiring policies and protocol manual, Google listed Intel among the companies that have special agreements with Google and are part of the “Do Not Cold Call” list.  Similarly, Intel instructed its human resources staff about the existence of the agreement; and
  • In June 2007, Google and Intuit executives agreed that Google would not cold call any Intuit employee. In its hiring policies and protocol manual, Google also listed Intuit among the companies that have special agreements with Google and are part of the “Do Not Cold Call” list.

DOJ Press Release.

Google Policy Blog

While there’s no evidence that our policy hindered hiring or affected wages, we abandoned our “no cold calling” policy in late 2009 once the Justice Department raised concerns, and are happy to continue with this approach as part of this settlement.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user bloomsberries

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. You should do a story on DOD contracting. Even worse.

  2. DOJ Settles With Apple, Adobe, Google Over Hiring Collusion … « myBlog Friday, September 24, 2010

    [...] See the article here: DOJ Settles With Apple, Adobe, Google Over Hiring Collusion … [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post