The UK-daily The Financial Times has reported that the US Justice Department has begun a civil antitrust inquiry into hiring behaviour at some of the largest technology companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple and Genentech in Silicon Valley.
"Officials have sent as many as a dozen companies civil investigative demands seeking documents that would shed light on whether they have an agreement not to poach talent from one another," the report said quoting people familiar with the probe.
Attributing to Genentech, the publication said, "Our understanding is that a number of companies received this request for information...Genentech is co-operating and will respond to the request in due course".
The Financial Times noted that Google and Yahoo also confirmed receiving a request for information, while Apple declined to comment.
"The investigation was greeted with surprise in Silicon Valley, where it is common for employees to move frequently among tech companies. Some believe officials are following up on a whistleblower tip," the report published online said.