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US Justice Dept. Sues eBay For Anti-Competitive Hiring Practices 66

McGruber writes "The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. Justice Department is suing eBay for allegedly agreeing with Intuit not to hire each other's employees. According to the article, 'eBay's agreement with Intuit hurt employees by lowering the salaries and benefits they might have received and deprived them of better job opportunities at the other company,' said acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland, who is in charge of the Justice Department's antitrust division. The division 'has consistently taken the position that these kinds of agreements are per se (on their face) unlawful under antitrust laws.'"
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US Justice Dept. Sues eBay For Anti-Competitive Hiring Practices

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  • latin lessons (Score:4, Informative)

    by _peter ( 54875 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @10:57PM (#42009427) Homepage

    per se -- in itself
    prima facie -- on it's face

  • Further reading... (Score:5, Informative)

    by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @11:19PM (#42009575) Journal
    TFA is a little thin. For those of you just joining us (stares pointedly at Intuit and Ebay, with a glance at HP), it's called "collusion."

    Collusion []
    Collusion is an agreement between two or more persons, sometimes illegal and therefore secretive, to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage. It is an agreement among firms to divide the market, set prices, or limit production. It can involve "wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties". In legal terms, all acts affected by collusion are considered void.

    Collusion is largely illegal in the United States, Canada and most of the EU due to competition/antitrust law, but implicit collusion in the form of price leadership and tacit understandings still takes place.

    Also known as the opposite of competition, or incompatible with a competitive environment, or simply "anti-competitive."

  • by Chuckstar ( 799005 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @12:41AM (#42009965)

    The eBay/Intuit agreement (and the other similar agreements that were subject to a settlement a few years ago) were very broad in scope. It might be the breadth that is the issue.

    I know, for instance, that it is legal for a company to agree not to solicit employees of another company for a defined period of time. This is often done as part of M&A transactions, where a company is buying a subsidiary of another company, and doesn't want the seller to just turn around and hire back key personnel. But those are limited in time. Also, the ones I've seen do not limit the ability to hire those people, only the ability to solicit them. So if the employee makes the first contact, all bets are off.

    Another agreement I've seen often is as part of a M&A confidentiality agreement. Example: "You will provide us information about your company and access to key personnel in order to discuss a potential aquisition, in exchange, we agree not to solicit any of those employees for one year."

    The eBay/Intuit agreement, however, is that they will not hire each others' employees for as long as the agreement remains in effect AND that it doesn't matter whether the employee approaches them first.

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