Apple and Google Had Informal Agreement Not to Poach Each Others' Employees

TechCrunch reports that Apple and Google had an unofficial policy not to poach each others' employees during Google CEO Eric Schmidt's tenure on Apple's Board of Directors. The policy only covered contact initiated by the two companies in "head-hunting" capacities, and not unsolicited applications from employees.

This news follows a report by The Washington Post in early June that the Justice Department was looking into this very issue. That report cited sources close to the investigation stating that the government was looking for possible antitrust violations among several tech companies, including Google and Apple, with regard to their hiring policies. But that report didnt say whether or not it was actually taking place. According to our sources, it is.

It is unclear whether the policy remains in effect with the departure of Schmidt from Apple's Board, although one of TechCrunch's sources claims that the agreement may now be off.

A source has also provided TechCrunch with an edited copy of an e-mail from a Google representative to a prospective employee who was apparently at Apple at the time contact was initiated. Based on the e-mail, it appears that contact was initiated by Google, and the representative acknowledges that the prospective employee's application will have to be canceled because Google had an "agreement with Apple that [they] will not cold call their staff.

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