(Adds background on lawsuit)
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 2 A U.S. judge on Tuesday
approved a settlement between federal antitrust authorities and
eBay Inc over allegations that eBay agreed to refrain
from soliciting a rival company's employees.
Under the deal, announced earlier this year, eBay said it
would not make deals with other technology companies about
poaching each others' employees. U.S. District Judge Edward
Davila approved eBay's agreement with the U.S. Department of
Justice in a brief order.
Hiring in Silicon Valley has been increasingly scrutinized.
Six companies including Apple and Google settled with federal
authorities in 2010 over non-solicitation deals, without paying
money. eBay agreed to pay $3.75 million to compensate workers
impacted by the no-poach deals as part of a settlement with
California antitrust regulators.
An eBay representative could not immediately be reached for
comment. Earlier this year, the company said it believed that
"the policy that prompted this lawsuit was acceptable and legal,
and led to no anticompetitive effects in the talent market in
which eBay competed."
Last month, a different U.S. judge rejected a proposed
$324.5 million settlement in a civil class action against Apple,
Google, Intel and Adobe over similar allegations. That judge
said the proposed settlement was too small.
eBay and Intuit reached a "handshake" agreement in 2006
involving executives including then-eBay chief executive Meg
Whitman and Intuit founder Scott Cook, according to court
documents. At the time Cook, who was serving on eBay's board,
complained about eBay poaching Intuit employees. Whitman is now
chief executive at Hewlett-Packard Co.
Federal and state antitrust regulators sued eBay in 2012.
Intuit had previously settled.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California is United States of America vs. eBay Inc., 12-05869.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli, Bernard