Six top tech companies’ settlement ends employee-poaching ban

apple silences iphone 4 discontent with forum censorship logo1

In a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, six top U.S. technology companies—Google, Apple, Adobe, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar—have agreed to end agreements with each other under which they would not try to recruit each others’ top employees. The Justice Department’s concerns were that the no-solicitation agreements between the companies significantly reduced competition to recruit highly skilled employees—which, in turn, meant those employees were deprived of job opportunities.

“The agreements challenged here restrained competition for affected employees without any pro-competitive justification and distorted the competitive process,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Antitrust division Molly S. Boast, in a statement. “The proposed settlement resolves the department’s antitrust concerns with regard to these no solicitation agreements.”

If accepted by the court, the proposed settlement would prohibit the companies from engaging in anticompetitive no-solicitation agreements: this means that companies would be free to cold-call another company’s employees in hopes of luring them away, and also more broadly bars other anti-solicitation practices. The companies would also have to agree to implement compliance and monitoring measures. The settlement would be in effect for five years.

The settlement targets a number of explicit agreements between companies not to cold-call each other’s employees: Apple and Adobe entered into such an agreement in 2005, Apple and Google did something similar in 2006, and Apple and Pixar did something similar in 2007—this was after to Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Pixar. Google and Intuit agreed that Google would not cold-call Intuit employees by mid-2007, and by September 2007 Google and Intel agreed not to cold-call each others’ employees.

The agreements did not impact employees initiating contact with competitors about job opportunities; rather they only impacted companies’ abilities to directly contact employees of competitors in hopes of wooing them away. The arrangements between the companies weren’t simple handshakes and gentlemen’s agreements: the complaint alleges that the agreements were formed and “actively managed” by senior executives at the companies involved.

Mobile

Apple reveals its Best of 2018 in apps, games, music, and more

Apple has released its top lists for the content that most wowed iOS users across the globe. The top winners from the best iOS apps, games, music, movies, and more have been revealed. Is your favorite among them?
Mobile

Apple’s first iPhone XR case lets you show off your handset’s color

Apple has released its first case for the iPhone XR. Costing $39, the case has a clear back so you can show off the color of your phone, whichever of the six options you went for.
Deals

Score a refurbished iPad Air for just $120 with this exclusive promo code

Apple deals are fleeting, but for techies who want to score this great hardware on the cheap, buying refurbished is the way to go. If you're in the market for a tablet, then you're in luck: This refurbished iPad Air is now on sale for just…
Wearables

The Apple Watch Series 4's heart-monitoring ECG feature is now available

Apple officially unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4. From a larger display to a built-in electrical heart sensor, the latest device brings along some notable new features. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Galaxy Watch vs. Apple Watch Series 4: Which one is the smartest?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch Series 4 are two of the best smartwatches available today. But which is better? We put the two watches head-to-head to find out which you should buy.
Mobile

The best weather apps for the iPhone

Don't rely solely on your local meteorologist to stay up to date on the weather. Take matters into your own hands with one of these weather apps, each of which brings something unique to the table.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Deals

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Music

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.
Mobile

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.