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Originally published Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM

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Lucasfilm agrees to stop anti-competitive hiring

The film studio that produced the popular "Star Wars" movie series has agreed to end anti-competitive hiring practices as part of a settlement with the Justice Department.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

The film studio that produced the popular "Star Wars" movie series has agreed to end anti-competitive hiring practices as part of a settlement with the Justice Department.

The Justice Department filed the settlement along with its complaint against Lucasfilm Ltd. on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington. The government accused the San Francisco-based firm of agreeing with Walt Disney Corp.'s Pixar Animation Studios not to recruit each other's employees, to notify each other when offering a position to an employee, and not to give employees a counter offer that is more valuable than the competing company's offer.

A representative of Lucasfilm did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The Justice Department said the agreements limited an employee's ability to negotiate the best deal from both companies and helped keep down payroll costs.

According to the court filings, Lucasfilm agreed to end the practice to end the case.

Six other Silicon Valley technology firms, including Pixar, agreed earlier this year to end similar hiring agreements.

According to a settlement filed in September, Google Inc., Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc. and Pixar all agreed not to enter into "no-solicitation agreements" for employees for a period of five years. The agreement with Lucasfilm will also be in place for five years.

Technology companies have argued that limitations on contacting employees from competing firms encouraged partnerships that promoted both economic growth and innovation.

The Justice Department has argued that the agreements were illegal.

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