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Department of Justice sues eBay over alleged agreement not to hire Intuit employees

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The US Department of Justice has sued eBay for allegedly refusing to hire employees from financial software company Intuit, Reuters and Bloomberg report. According to the suit, eBay's Meg Whitman and Intuit's Scott Cook struck an agreement not to recruit each others' workers, and eBay agreed not to hire Intuit employees at all, even if they approached the company for a job. According to the complaint, "this agreement harmed employees by lowering the salaries and benefits they might otherwise have commanded, and deprived these employees of better job opportunities at the other company." The full details aren't yet available, but this evokes an earlier case regarding a wide-ranging Silicon Valley agreement not to poach employees — which Intuit was also allegedly involved in. Intuit is apparently not, however, named as a defendant in this suit.

Update: eBay has responded to Reuters with the following: "EBay's hiring practices conform to the standards that the Department of Justice has approved in resolving cases against other companies. The DOJ is taking an overly aggressive interpretation in their enforcement of antitrust law in this area." Intuit, meanwhile, says that "we have already resolved any concerns that the DOJ had about our recruiting practices," referring to the earlier case, which it settled in 2010.