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(Reuters) – Google, Apple, Adobe Systems, Intel, Intuit and Disney’s Pixar reached a settlement with the Justice Department that bars the companies from agreeing to not poach each other’s top employees, the department said on Friday.

The firms had reached a series of agreements with each other — Apple had deals with Google, Adobe and Pixar while Google had separate deals with Intel and Intuit — agreeing not to cold call each others’ workers, the department said.

Such agreements are a violation of antitrust laws since agreeing not to hire away top talent could stifle competition for highly skilled workers and hold down wages.

"The companies engaged in a practice of agreeing not to cold call any employee at the other company," the department said. "The complaint indicates that the agreements were formed and actively managed by senior executives of these companies."

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)