Yesterday, we reported on a new antitrust investigation targeting Silicon Valley tech companies regarding possible agreements to not hire away each other's talent. Now, the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that a former Google recruiter is fessing up to having a 'Do Not Touch' list of companies they were not to go after for talent. Two companies on the list? Genentech and Yahoo!
Yahoo!, on the other hand, has no such list according to a former recruiter for the company. Instead, recruiters were rewarded for wooing talent from competitors.
Simply having a list would not be automatically indicative of anticompetitive hiring practices. It could simply be an initiative by a company to prevent upsetting business partners. A 'Do Not Touch' list would be in violation of antitrust law if it were agreed to by companies. It's the collaboration where the offense occurs.
Officially, the companies being investigated and the Department of Justice remain largely mum on the issue, at most confirming that an investigation is, in fact, happening.