On November 16, 2012, the Department of Justice announced it filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against eBay Inc because it entered into an agreement that denied the recruiting or hiring of Intuit Inc employees. The Justice Department announced the agreement decreased competition for employment opportunities and denied employees access to better jobs and salaries.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose. The lawsuit is asking eBay to disregard the agreement and keep from entering similar agreements with other companies in the future. The Justice Department filed a similar lawsuit against Intuit earlier for the same charges.
According to court documents, eBay’s CEO, Meg Whitman, and Intuit’s founder and executive committee chair, Scott Cook, formed and enforced the anticompetitive agreement. Additionally, the Justice Department claims that Cook was on eBay’s board of directors while he made complaints about the recruiting of Intuit employees by eBay.
The Justice Department declares that the illegal agreement was enforced from 2006 to at least 2009. eBay was specifically instructed not to recruit Intuit employees and throw away resumes from Intuit employees.
Josepha Wayland, the Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, stated: “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. The Antitrust Division has consistently taken the position that these kinds of agreements are per se unlawful under the antitrust laws.”
The former lawsuit against Intuit included lawsuits against five other companies as well: Adobe Systems Inc, Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Corp, and Pixar. The Justice Department argued all of these companies entered bilateral agreements not to hire and solicit employees. All of the companies made agreements to discard such bilateral agreements, and the Justice Department is asking eBay to discard any agreements with Intuit as well.
Source: Department of Justice