Washington, DC - The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is investigating some of the country's largest technology companies over suspicions that their hiring practices violate antitrust laws.
Google, Yahoo and Apple are all to come under the spotlight, according to the Washington Post, along with biotech firm Genentech.
The suspicion is that these companies have agreed not to actively recruit staff from one another - a policy that landed Exxon and other oil companies in hot water a few years ago.
Such policies are seen as anti-competitive and a way of maintaining market power unfairly.
Staff poaching in the IT industry has long been seen as a bit infra dig. Back in 1995, Microsoft went so far as to sue Google for wooing away Kai-Fu Lee, Microsoft's vice president for WEeb Interactive Services, to head Google's China operations.
Google and Apple are already potentially in trouble with the Justice Department, which recently launched a review of the board ties between the two companies, and Google may also face censure over its deals with authors and publishers.
Christine Varney, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ's Antitrust Division, warned recently that the DOJ plans to take a close look at anti-trust activities in the the high-tech and internet industries.