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Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly made a possibly illegal proposal to Palm in 2007 that the companies stop hiring each other's employees. Palm reportedly refused.  (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
Palm's leader says that the deal is "wrong" and "probably illegal"

When it comes to hardware, Apple only has one legitimate competitor in the smart phone market -- Palm.  Palm's Pre is the only smartphone besides the iPhone to support multi-touch, and its also the only other smartphone to be able to be able to easily sync with iTunes.  Both of these assets reportedly came thanks in part to the inside knowledge former Apple engineers brought to Palm.

Apple, which has poached employees employees from Palm in the past (including during the development of the various iPods and iPhone), nonetheless, was not to happy about the launch of the Pre.  It tried to block the phone out of iTunes only to see Palm outmaneuver it again and let the Pre back in

Back in 2007, Apple's Chief Executive Office, Steve Jobs, reached out to former Palm CEO Ed Colligan and proposed a moratorium on the two companies stealing each other's employees.  Mr. Colligan reportedly rejected Mr. Job's proposal, saying that it was not only wrong, but "probably illegal". 

Palm's smartphone team is headed by Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple veteran who had headed the company's pivotal iPod unit.  Mr. Rubenstein was promoted to Palm's CEO in June, succeeding Mr. Colligan.

Steve Jobs would not comment on whether he proposed a secret arrangement with Palm.  He would only say that Apple has more patents and money than Palm if the companies go to war legally.  He perhaps was referring to Apple's patent on multi-touch technology, which it has threatened to sue Palm and others with in the past.

If Mr. Jobs did propose such an arrangement, it appears it would likely be illegal.  According to Donald Russell, an antitrust lawyer who worked at the Justice Department for more than two decades before going into private practice in Washington, "It's a form of competition that is usually protected by antitrust laws that prohibit agreements that restrict competition."

Apple and Palm, according to a Reuters source, are under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for collusion in hiring.  Neither company would acknowledge that they were being investigated, though.

If Apple did reach out to Palm for such an arrangement, it would also have been a rather ironic move as Apple itself has poached employees from many other tech giants over the years.  Most recently, Apple hired IBM's Mark Papermaster to replace the departing Tony Faddell as iPod team leader.  IBM fought the move, saying Mr. Papermaster violated the terms of his contract.  Apple and IBM have since reached a settlement, allowing Mr. Papermaster to go to work at Apple.

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By mfed3 on 8/20/2009 9:32:55 AM , Rating: 5
i seriously hate apple more and more every day. god i hope they get owned off the face of the earth by microsoft, google, and palm

RE: apple
By michael2k on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: apple
By chizow on 8/20/2009 11:25:23 AM , Rating: 5
It has happened on more than one occasion actually, Apple just managed to stay alive and has continuously reinvented themselves successfully. Jobs is a genius no doubt about it but his visionary leadership is why there's been such a big fuss lately about his failing health.

As for people hating this and that, just buy what you like and what makes you happy, I never hope companies fail completely because there's been more than a few (like Apple) that come back from the grave and put out some great products.

RE: apple
By eddieroolz on 8/20/2009 1:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
But that was after a massive "bailout" from Microsoft in 1997 I believe. Otherwise they were heading straight for the grave.

RE: apple
By michael2k on 8/20/2009 2:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
You say "bailout" and I say "settlement".

Microsoft settled a lawsuit in 1997 for 150m:,_Inc._...

The terms were simple:
Office for Mac
Internet Explorer for Mac was the default browser
Lawsuit dropped
$150m in shares purchased by Microsoft (non-voting even)

At the time Apple had cash to the effect of $11 per share with no debt. Put another way, they still had over $1b in cash at hand. Today they have over $30b.

RE: apple
By Shadowself on 8/20/2009 2:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
The stock purchase was not directly part of a settlement. There was a separate, not publicly disclosed payment for that. This is one of many, many areas where what is posted on Wikipedia is just plain wrong.

Also at the time of the deal Apple did have a significant amount of debt even though they had some cash on hand too as most companies do. The "book value" of Apple was indeed in the $10 to $11 range and the stock was trading at about $12.80 a share, IIRC.

Whether it was a bailout or a forced deal as a corollary to a settlement depends upon your point of view. The simple fact is that Apple needed this deal to stay alive. Microsoft needed the settlement in order to stay focussed on other things (e.g., anti trust lawsuits). Also Microsoft willing to help out a company that some thought was a competitor to Microsoft certainly did not hurt their stance with regard to the anti trust issues.

RE: apple
By Shadowself on 8/20/2009 2:43:02 PM , Rating: 5
I love how the reality has evolved into this concept...

What really happened was
1) Apple was headed down hill very rapidly. It was even starting to have trouble getting financing.
2) Apple caught Microsoft using QuickTime source code in their Windows Media product. (Microsoft hired the same outside coders to do some work on the Windows Media product as Apple had used on QuickTime and those coders re-used the code they had developed for Apple. The contract between Apple and the outside coders gave all rights to the source code and derivatives to Apple. Documents within Microsoft showed that some people in Microsoft knew of the re-used code. No documentation has ever been put forth showing that senior people at Microsoft authorized or promoted the re-use of Apple owned source code.)
3) Jobs returned to Apple, ousted Amelio and started making drastic changes.
4) Jobs negotiated with Gates for three things
a. A non-voting, restricted stock purchase of Apple stock by Microsoft ($150M worth IIRC)
b. A commitment by Microsoft to build a version of Microsoft Office for Mac for at least five more years.
c. A cash payment for settling the QuickTime source code issue. The dollar value was never publicly disclosed, but those close the the issue estimate it at between $100 and $200 million.

It is unlikely Microsoft would have agreed to a. or b. without c. being settled too.

5) Steve Jobs, to great fanfare, announced a. and b. but gave no mention of c (probably by mutual agreement with Gates). Steve Jobs also officially "announced" the "war" with Microsoft was over. Steve Jobs declared that Microsoft had won.

6) The announcement of a. and b. changed the financial industry's attitude toward Apple. Apple's stock position and market cap radically improved. It was truly the beginning of the turn around for Apple.

7) When Microsoft finally sold all their Apple stock a several years later Microsoft made a huge profit on it -- financially a very smart move for Microsoft.

RE: apple
By ClownPuncher on 8/20/2009 3:49:39 PM , Rating: 3
8. Gamma rays mixed with Baby Jesus Tears creating Apple defender, Pirks, thus ending civilization as we know it.

RE: apple
By chick0n on 8/21/2009 1:50:19 AM , Rating: 2

RE: apple
By Pirks on 8/22/09, Rating: -1
RE: apple
By michael2k on 8/20/2009 2:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's hard to call them 'owned' by Google, Palm, or Microsoft when they survived and came back stronger.

Though I do concede that in 1997 they weren't doing very well at all and that Job's return in 1997 helped tremendously.

RE: apple
By KingstonU on 8/20/2009 9:55:15 AM , Rating: 5
I won't buy an apple product, but I do appreciate those that due, because Apple pushes the companies that I will buy from to improve and become more innovative and offer me better products. : P Products that don't have Apple stranglehold of control they keep on what their customers can and can't do.

RE: apple
By rtrski on 8/20/2009 10:04:50 AM , Rating: 5
Ditto. While I wouldn't buy one of their products, they really do have some pretty nice UI and sleek product design, and like it or not they've pushed others to follow by paying attention to some of those things. My wife certainly loves her iPod - it does what she wants, although on occasion iTunes does not nearly "just work" and I have to intervene. (Why does it default to wanting to install Safari, Bonjour, etc. that are unnecessary for her older device? Never mind....)

The Apple Sheeple kind of amuse me with their smugness. (My brother was recently ranting and raving about how wonderful it was that he bought a MacBook Pro, took it home, and it "just worked" with his wireless router without him having to fiddle around like he had with his Vista laptop. After "mm hmming" a few times I asked what it cost him, and he quoted a price that was high enough I could have bought an equivalent spec-ed HP laptop with XP (at the time), flew cross-country with it, set it up on his network for him, and flown back, and had about $200 left for my trouble. I had to bite my tongue in the months following when he had all sorts of trouble setting up his dual-boot so he could still run AutoCAD and whatnot that he needed for work.) But the haters are just as off-the-reservation in the other direction.

Competition is good. I'll still opt for a bit cheaper and less guarantees of "just working" but having more freedom to wander outside the walled, moated, and protected-by-ravenous-lawyers sandcastle.

RE: apple
By chrnochime on 8/20/2009 10:45:49 AM , Rating: 5
Any Wireless connection on XP/Vista/7 would "just work" if there's no encryption/password at all to fiddle with.

I'd like to see the "just work" if the user is the problem though...

On a side note, I guess we should be somewhat glad that Anandtech is not like the various Apple worship sites, cough*Gizmodo*cough , where the mod would ban you for saying anything that resembles negative comments toward Apple....

RE: apple
By retrospooty on 8/20/2009 9:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
"i seriously hate apple more and more every day. god i hope they get owned off the face of the earth by microsoft, google, and palm "

Dont say that... We need Apple. As much as I hate them adn the weenies that buy their stuff, they do serve a purpose.

1. If not for OSX and a potential alternative - would MS bothr fixing vista to release Win7 ? They would simply stop innovatiing or half assed innovate like they did after XP was released.

2. Competition keeps prices low.

3. Like it or not the iPhone changed the smartphone industry - the iphone was a below average phone with a fantastic screen and state of the are UI- they made everyone else raise thier game on the UI.

RE: apple
By Farfignewton on 8/20/2009 6:04:33 PM , Rating: 3
1. If not for OSX and a potential alternative - would MS bothr fixing vista to release Win7 ?

Why wouldn't they? Have they become allergic to taking my money every few years? Neither Apple or Linux are going to get it regardless.

RE: apple
By Smilin on 8/21/2009 9:58:38 AM , Rating: 3

You have to realize that Microsoft's #1 competitor is Microsoft. If they don't improve nobody will upgrade.

RE: apple
By michael2k on 8/21/2009 4:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
Um, when your OS comes bundled on 90%+ of all PCs it's hard to claim that Microsoft is competing with itself. They get paid no matter if they release Win7 tomorrow or next year.

RE: apple
By Smilin on 8/23/2009 2:23:36 AM , Rating: 2
They get paid no matter if they release Win7 tomorrow or next year.

What company wants to invest in a product and not get paid until next year?

The number #1 competition for Windows 7 is Windows XP, followed by Windows Vista, followed by MacOSX and Linux distros.

RE: apple
By totallycool on 8/21/2009 1:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
So you are under the impression that the MAIN competitor for Windows Vista/7 is OS X?

In that case you are sadly mistaken, the biggest competitor that microsoft has for Vista/7 is 'Windows XP'. Remember, many of us believe in the mantra of 'Dont fix it, if it ain't broke'.

PS. A request to everyone, please don't turn this into a Vista/7 Vs XP thread, that horse has been beaten to death and beyond.

RE: apple
By retrospooty on 8/23/2009 12:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
"So you are under the impression that the MAIN competitor for Windows Vista/7 is OS X?"

Uhh.. no, where did I say that?

What I said was competition forces innovation. After MS released XP they sat back and rested on their laurels for several years, without really trying to innovate. 5 years after XP realasing Vista was the result. Vista got such bad press and a horrible reception (deserved or not, its a marketing flop). Windows 7 is what happens when MS tries.

My point is simply this... When MS has no reason to try they dont try too hard. When they do try they accomplish much. Innovation is a good thing and without Mac's, PC would be less than they are today, and more expensive.

RE: apple
By retrospooty on 8/23/2009 12:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
edit / competition is a good thing.

RE: apple
By icrf on 8/20/2009 10:04:55 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, Apple poaches a bunch of employees and builds an array of successful products with them. Once it's on top, it calls to those below it "let's just stop the poaching and play nice, m'kay?"

RE: apple
By chrnochime on 8/20/2009 10:48:37 AM , Rating: 2
Shhh. It's Steve Job making the no poaching comment, so to the Apple worshipers, whatever he says must be right. Damn those other scums for trying to attack our beloved Apple LOL.

RE: apple
By MrBlastman on 8/20/2009 11:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing suprises me anymore about Apple's sly tactics. I expect it now. If a month goes by without hearing something dastardly that Apple has done, I look to the alignment of the sun, moon and the center of our Galaxy and try to figure out what is wrong.

RE: apple
By The0ne on 8/20/2009 1:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
He's not going to escape death. Eventually, no worries.

RE: apple
By MrBlastman on 8/20/2009 2:16:31 PM , Rating: 4
Sure he will; he is diabolical. Right this moment he is at Apple headquarters working on a positronic brain that will house his vast consciousness inside of it. It will be interfaced with the Apple network so he can secretly control all Apple devices and appliances all while he is perceivably in the beyond rather than still in the present.

The only thing he hasn't figured out yet is how he's going to heat it--as Steve is naturally self heating in his living state due to all the hot air he spews out. I'm sure he'll figure it out though... it'll be called an i-Heater of course.

RE: apple
By ipay on 8/20/2009 2:23:29 PM , Rating: 2
That deserves a +6 at least. :)

RE: apple
By Farfignewton on 8/20/2009 6:12:36 PM , Rating: 3
Wow. So now we need Arnold to come back in time to terminate Steve-net. ;)

RE: apple
By MrBlastman on 8/20/2009 7:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Arnold would be powerful enough. I think we'll need Robert Patrick as the T-1000 at a minmum to stop him x 1000. Do not underestimate the power of the i-Steve.

RE: apple
By teng029 on 8/21/2009 1:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
start your own company to compete with apple then; otherwise, get over it. why anyone spends so much effort hating a company is still a mystery to me.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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