US online giant eBay agreed to pay $3.75 million to settleallegations it colluded with other Silicon Valley technology firms not to "poach"each other's employees, officials said Thursday.In deals struck with the US Department of Justice and the California attorneygeneral's office, the online commerce titan also promised not to conspire with othercompanies to restrain recruiting or hiring of workers."The proposed settlement resolves the department's antitrust concerns and ensuresthat eBay will not engage in similar conduct in the future," US assistant attornegeneral Bill Baer said in a release.The settlements need to be approved by a federal judge before being final.San Jose, California-based eBay has agreed to pay restitution and fines totaling$3.75 million under terms of the settlement with the western state."California's technology sector is at its best when competition and creativity areallowed to thrive," state attorney general Kamala Harris said."No-poach agreements unfairly punish talented workers and stunt our state'seconomy."A portion of the fund is to be used to compensate people who worked for eBay orIntuit in California since 2005, with amounts to range from less than $150 to$10,000 each.
Harris filed suit against eBay in late 2012, accusing it of making a deal with thefinancial software firm not to recruit each other's workers. The "no-poach" deal tookplace between 2006 and 2009 and including a promise by eBay to not even hireIntuit employees, according to the state attorney general.The DoJ lawsuit aimed at eBay also dates back to late 2012.“eBay’s agreement with Intuit served no purpose but to limit competition betweenthe two firms for employees, distorting the labor market and causing employees tolose opportunities for better jobs and higher pay,” Baer said.Intuit is already subject to a consent decree similar to the one agreed to by eBay,according to the DoJ.
Tech giants Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel last month settled a lawsuit that chargedthey had colluded to hold salaries down by agreeing to not poach each others staff.The four reached an agreement to settle all claims against them with lawyers for theplaintiffs in the case dating back to 2011, a statement from the San Francisco US
district court said.No details were given of the amounts, if any, in the settlement, and it did not coverThree other industry leaders also sued: Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar.The case built up strongly against them in January when the judge in the case, LucyKoh, cited emails from late Apple founder Steve Jobs requesting in 2007 that Google
stop recruiting Apple workers.