The Justice Department has begun an investigation into whether the recruiting practices of some of the largest technology companies violated antitrust laws, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.
The investigation targets some of Silicon Valley’s best known companies, including Google, Yahoo, Apple and several others, these people said.
The exact focus of the inquiry is unclear, but the people familiar with it said Justice Department lawyers appeared to be looking into whether the companies involved agreed to not actively recruit employees from each other.
The Justice Department has issued civil investigative demands, or formal requests for documents and information, to some of the companies involved, said the people with knowledge of the inquiry, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential.
Google, Apple and Yahoo declined to comment. A Justice Department spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The inquiry, which was first reported on the Web site of the Washington Post late Tuesday, appeared to be in its early stages, said the people familiar with it.