US court approves eBay settlement over no-hire agreement

EBay was charged with entering into an agreement with Intuit to limit competition for employees

A court in California has approved a settlement reached earlier this year between eBay and the U.S. Department of Justice over a deal the e-commerce company is said to have reached with Intuit not to hire each other's employees.

Under the settlement proposed in May and cleared Tuesday by District Judge Edward J. Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division, eBay is prevented for five years from entering into or maintaining agreements with other companies that restrain employee recruitment and hiring.

The settlement also prohibits "....pressuring any person in any way to refrain from hiring, soliciting, cold calling, recruiting, or otherwise competing for employees of the other person," according to the court order.

The DOJ had charged that senior executives and directors of eBay and Intuit entered into an agreement, beginning no later than 2006, that prevented each firm from recruiting employees from the other and that prohibited eBay from hiring Intuit employees that approached eBay.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a related settlement in May with eBay, with the company agreeing to pay restitution and civil penalties of nearly US$3.8 million, including $300,000 to the state for the harm to the state's economy.

EBay could not be immediately reached for comment on the approval of the settlement.

The DOJ's Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in September 2010 against Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar for antitrust violations arising from agreements that put each firm's employees off-limits to the other companies, with instructions to recruiters not to "cold call" these employees. It filed later in the year a similar lawsuit against Lucasfilm on similar charges of anticompetitive hiring practices. The DOJ settled both suits at time of filing the lawsuits. The lawsuit against eBay was filed in 2012.

The employees of the companies, however, held that the DOJ put an end to the allegedly illegal agreements, but the government was unable to compensate the victims of the conspiracy, which was the reason why they were filing a class action suit.

Judge Lucy H. Koh of the California court rejected last month a proposed settlement in the class-action lawsuit, observing that the $324.5 million amount being offered by remaining defendants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe is too low. The other defendants have settled with the employees.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issueslegalebaypersonnelU.S. Department of Justice

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?