US sues eBay Inc on non-competition
In a federal lawsuit, the government said Whitman and Scott Cook, Intuit's founder and executive committee chair, were involved in forming, monitoring and enforcing the anticompetitive agreement. California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a separate lawsuit under state law, which she said contains stronger protections against anticompetitive practices than federal law.
Cook was a member of eBay's board of directors at the same time he was making complaints about eBay's recruiting of Intuit employees.
“eBay's agreement with Intuit hurt employees by lowering the salaries and benefits they might have received and deprived them of better job opportunities at the other company,'' said acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland, who is in charge of the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division. The division “has consistently taken the position that these kinds of agreements are per se (on their face) unlawful under antitrust laws.''
The two companies compete directly for specialized computer engineers and scientists.
At Hewlett Packard Co., where Whitman is now chief executive, company spokesman Michael Thacker said Whitman would have no comment. Whitman ran unsuccessfully for governor of California as a Republican in 2010.
eBay spokeswoman Lara Wyss said the Justice Department and the California attorney general ``are taking an overly aggressive interpretation in their enforcement of antitrust law in this area. eBay will vigorously defend itself.''
The company said
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