There she goes again. The Justice Department’s antitrust chief Christine Varney is convinced that tech companies are doing wrong and her underlings are going after them aggressively. She has already given Google notice that she is keeping an eye on them. But now the Justice Department is looking into possible collusion among large tech companies including Apple, Yahoo, and Google for purportedly agreeing “to not actively recruit employees from each other,” according to the NYT.
Yup, that’s a real head scratcher. I guess IBM is not involved in the cabal, since Apple hired way one of its top chip designers, Mark Papermaster, and got into a big lawsuit with IBM over the incident. And Yahoo, nobody would dare steal employees away from Yahoo. That never happens (cough, Microsoft). Or from Google—unless you are Facebook.
Stealing employees from each other is a way of life for tech companies. Silicon Valley is one of the most competitive employment markets in the country—for CEOs and VPS to engineers. But all Varney can see when she looks out West is a large antitrust prize. Doesn’t she have anything better to do? Here is a suggestion: Investigate the weird spikes in gas prices that happen regularly for no apparent reason or the insanity that is health care pricing. But leave tech companies alone until they actually step out of line.