Feds Working on Apple, Google Anti-poaching Deal

The U.S. Department of Justice is apparently in late negotiation talks with Apple, Google and several other tech companies over allegations that they agreed to not hire each other’s employees to keep wages from climbing. The negotiations stem from complaints that the companies had anti-poaching agreements, and wouldn’t cold-call competitor’s employees with job offers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Along with Apple and Google, Intuit, Adobe and Pixar are all involved in the negotiations designed to help avoid a legal battle.

The companies involved in the anti-poaching agreement claimed it allowed them to collaborate on projects without worrying about key employees being lured away to competitors.

The government and the companies involved have incentive to strike a deal outside of the courtroom since the DOJ may have a hard time showing that employees were harmed by the practice, and should the companies lose a court fight, the could be facing new hiring practice restrictions.

By striking a deal, the companies wouldn’t have to admit any wrong doing and they would be able to avoid potential lawsuits from employees. A deal would also let the DOJ block future anti-poaching deals.

Microsoft and Genentech are no longer targets in the DOJ investigation, and Yahoo! executives think they’re out of the hot seat now, too.

None of the companies involved in the DOJ negotiations are offering comments.