The US Department of Justice is investigating a number of Silicon Valley giants, including Apple, over hiring practices that allegedly include agreements to not poach each others’ top talent, according to “The Wall Street Journal” ( Such agreements could potentially violate labor laws.

The federal government had Apple, Google and other companies over similar deals. Specifically, the probe is looking into whether the companies’ hiring practices are costing skilled computer engineers and other workers opportunities to change jobs for higher pay or better benefits, says the “Journal.”

Antitrust experts say the Justice Department could argue that an agreement between competitors that holds down labor costs is as much a violation of antitrust laws as an agreement said Melissa Maxman, an antitrust lawyer at the law firm Cozen O’Connor, told the “Journal.”