Poaching Employees Seven of America’s most prominent high-tech companies, including Apple and Google, recently settled a Justice Department complaint alleging that those companies agreed, among other things, not to “cold call” each other’s employees for the purpose of hiring those employees (a practice sometimes labeled employee poaching). The companies agreed to cancel any such agreements. Then in 2013, a civil class action was filed by a group of employees claiming those high-tech companies damaged the employees by violating antitrust laws. News accounts also allege that deceased Apple cofounder Steve Jobs threatened to file a patent lawsuit against tech firm Palm if it did not agree to refrain from poaching Apple employees. Questions 1. Why might high- tech companies be particularly concerned about employee poaching? 2. What antitrust claims would the plaintiffs raise? 3. What damages would the plaintiffs allege?
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