Lucasfilm Settles Justice Department Claim

The settlement allows for competition to remain for digital animation employees.

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has prevented Lucasfilm from entering into agreements preventing employee recruitment.

The Justice Department said that the agreement between Lucasfilm and Pixar eliminated competition to attract skilled employees and decreased competition to the detriment of affected employees.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust complaint Tuesday in U.S. District Court in D.C. It also submitted a settlement that could potentially resolve the lawsuit.

The complaint came out of a bigger investigation by the Antitrust Division into the ways tech companies conduct employment practices. In September, Adobe Systems, Inc.; Google Inc.; Apple Inc.; Intel Cop.; Intuit Inc. and Pixar were prevented from entering into anti-solicitation agreements for its employees.

In Tuesday’s complaint, Lucasfilm and Pixar agreed not to cold call each other’s workers; agreed each company would notify the other when making an offer to an employee; and agreed that the company would not provide a counteroffer with additional compensation to that employee.

The Justice department noted that Pixar is not a defendant because the relief the department received in the prior settlement is sufficient enough to prevent the company from entering into these agreements.

The complaint alleged that both companies’ actions diminished the ability to readily compete for digital animation employees. The proposed settlement bars companies from entering into anticompetitive agreements in regards to an employee’s hire. The settlement, if accepted will go into effect for five years.