Apple, Google, Yahoo! and Genentech are subjects of a fresh antitrust investigation surrounding hiring and recruiting practices among companies in the tech industry, according to Washington Post staff writer Cecilia Kang.
"By agreeing not to hire away top talent, the companies could be stifling competition and trying to maintain their market power unfairly," antitrust experts said in the article. Hiring and recruiting can sometimes be a touchy affair, as Apple found out late last year when trying to hire Mark Papermaster. The investigation may suggest some kind of written agreement among large tech firms to not hire away each other's top talent.
According to the New York Times, Justice has only requested documents for the ongoing investigation. Neither the Justice Department nor any of the companies mentioned in the story had any comment.
This comes in addition to another Justice investigation into ties between the boards of directors of Apple and Google, and whether or not having Google CEO Eric Schmidt on both (and Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson on all three) constitutes antitrust violations. Some consider Apple and Google to be competitors in certain areas such as phone handsets.
The Obama administration is stepping up efforts to investigate anti-competitive activity among high-tech companies, and is already investigating Google's deal with book authors to republish their work via Google Books.