Seal of Approval for $3.75M EBay Settlement

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge approved a $3.75 million settlement for eBay workers affected by an alleged “handshake” agreement with Intuit not to recruit each other’s employees.
     Roughly $2.3 million of the settlement between California’s Attorney General and eBay will compensate employees who have worked for eBay since 2005 and prospective employees who were affected by the back-room deal, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ordered. The rest, about $1.3 million, goes to attorney’s fees.
     The deal also stipulates that eBay refrain from making non-poaching deals with rival companies in the future.
     The State of California sued eBay in 2012, alleging former CEO Meg Whitman and Intuit founder Scott Cook agreed in 2006 to refrain from hiring and recruiting candidates from one another. After the agreement, eBay started to decline to interview or hire Intuit employees, even if the only acceptable candidate it could find for a position that had been open for some time was from Intuit.
     In 2007, Whitman complained to Cook that Intuit had been recruiting eBay employees in violation of their agreement, according to the complaint. Cook allegedly responded with an expletive, adding, “Meg, my apologies, I’ll find out how this slip up occurred again.”
     Intuit was not named in the complaint against eBay, as it is already subject to an order stemming from another antitrust lawsuit barring it from enforcing any agreement that limits hiring competition.

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