Tech Companies' Hiring Practices Under Scrutiny Justice Department thinks they might violate antitrust laws By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 10, 2010 12:45 PM CDT 2 comments Comments Tech companies' hiring practices are under review by the Justice Department. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Some of the nation's biggest tech companies have a gentleman's agreement on hiring: Generally speaking, they don't try to steal each other's best employees. After a yearlong investigation, the Justice Department is poised to challenge the practice on the notion that it violates antitrust laws and deprives computer engineers of better salaries, reports the Wall Street Journal. It's "very close to the line," one antitrust lawyer tells the Journal. "They're not agreeing on price, but they're kind of agreeing on costs." Tech companies—Google, Intel, and IBM are among those under review—say there's nothing sinister about the practice and defend it as necessary in a field with so many collaborative ventures. Feds are expected to decide in a matter of weeks whether and how to challenge.