EBay Inc., the world’s largest online marketplace, was accused by the U.S. and California of violating antitrust laws by agreeing not to hire people working for Intuit Inc.

Senior executives at EBay and Intuit struck “evolving handshake” accords from 2006 to 2009 to restrict recruiting and hiring each others’ workers, according to a complaint by the U.S. Justice Department filed yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California. The practice allegedly distorted competition for specialized computer engineers and scientists and made it harder for workers to get better, higher paying jobs.

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