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Apple, others talking to DoJ about anti-poaching agreement

Apple, Google, Pixar, Intel, and a few other companies are currently in talks with the Department of Justice about an alleged anti-poaching agreement, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal. The government is considering accusing the companies of agreeing to not hire each others' employees for a certain period of time. If, as a law professor tells the Journal, the government finds that these companies are actually agreeing to not poach, then employees could be hurt by not having access to the best deal available.

For their part, the companies are reportedly arguing that non-poaching agreements are a requirement, especially when companies are so closely collaborating on various technologies and standards. Apple and Google, for example, would want to create the best products possible for customers, and wouldn't be able to do that if they had to worry about their employees possibly getting hired away by the other partner.

There's no actual lawsuit yet -- this is still just an investigation, and the Journal says that there are "some companies more willing to settle to avoid an antitrust case than others." But we'll see -- if the Department determines that the companies did make an agreement and that employees were punished by it, then the case could end up in court eventually.

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