• Apple Ordered to Play Nice by US Department of Justice

    There is no shortage of companies in this world that are intimidated by Apple. The US Department of Justice, however, is not among them. And, as a result, Apple has effectively received a slap on the wrist from the DOJ and ordered to stop engaging in anticompetitive practices.

    Last last evening it was announced that the Cupertino-based tech giant settled with the U.S. Department of Justice following a lengthy investigation into what's being called "anticompetitive agreements." According to the Associated Press, "anticompetitive agreements" refers to "anti-poaching agreements designed to avoid costly bidding wars for star employees."

    The Justice Department had been investigating whether the companies pledged not to use "cold calls" to recruit each other's employees, as part of partnership agreements. The government was concerned that such promises amounted to a form of collusion to avoid bidding wars for employees with specialized skills, and in turn hold down payroll expenses.
    The DOJ determined that such agreements "eliminated a significant form of competition to attract highly skilled employees, depriving employees of access to better job opportunities." It should be noted, however, that Apple was not alone in the DOJ's ruling. Five other Silicon Valley giants also settled with the Department of Justice. They include: Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar.

    In terms of the "enforcement" behind this ruling.... well, there won't be much. Effectively, the companies "promise" not to engage in "no-solicitation agreements" with respect to their employees for a period of five years. So the "enforcement" will actually be a form of "self-enforcement" as the companies simply pledge to stop doing what caught the DOJ's attention in the first place.

    Associated Press
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