US: Steve Jobs seen as ‘walking antitrust violation’ in wake of Silicon Valley suit

The legacy of Apple founder Steve Jobs is again in question in the wake of news that various technology companies, including Apple, reached a settlement only days ago over allegations by employees that the companies colluded to make non-poaching agreements, keeping wages artificially low.

Antitrust guru Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor of the University of Iowa College of Law, called Jobs “a walking antitrust violation,” and other competition policy experts agree that Jobs seems to have ignored antitrust law altogether.

Not only was Apple the subject of a non-poaching case, both by the US Department of Justice and an employee class action, but the company is also facing thousands in potential damages from state lawsuit after a federal judge found Apple had conspired with eBook publishers to keep prices down.

An earlier case lead to an internal investigation within the company over allegations of a backdating scandal; in that case, five other executives of other firms went to prison for the scheme, though Jobs was never implicated.

The various antitrust disputes surrounding Apple show, according to reports, how “the difference between genius and potentially criminal behavior can be a fine line.”

Full content: NYTimes

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