DOJ Probing Hiring at Tech Firms: Report

The Justice Department is investigating whether a number of technology and biotech companies violated antitrust laws by agreeing not to recruit each other's employees, reports say.
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The Justice Department is investigating whether a number of technology and biotech companies violated antitrust laws by agreeing not to recruit each other's employees, reports say.

The

Wall Street Journal

, citing people briefed on the investigation, reports the Justice Department has sought information from

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

,

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Genentech

, a subsidiary of

Roche

. It's unclear which of the companies might be targets of the probe.

Spokesmen from Google and Genentech said their companies had been contacted about the probe and are cooperating, the

Journal

reports. A spokeswoman for Yahoo! declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Apple. Microsoft didn't respond to call for comment from

Reuters

.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

News of the inquiry was first reported by the

Washington Post

and

TheDeal.com

.

According to one person familiar with the investigation, businesses frequently agree, as part of business deals or merger agreements, not to poach each other's employees. But the Justice Department is looking into whether companies have established blanket agreements to refrain from poaching, which may be considered collusion, the person said, the

Journal

reports.