DOJ Saves Film Animation from Monopoly, Ghost of Walt Disney Laughs
The Department of Justice is reported to have arrived at a settlement in lieu of antitrust litigation with LucasFilms and Pixar similar to settlements recently reached with Adobe, Apple., Google, Intel, and Intuit. These companies had previously agreed between themselves agree to refrain from the “anti-competitive practices” of cold calling each other’s employees or giving their own employees a counter offer that is more valuable than the competing company’s offer and they further agree to notify each other when making an offer to an employee of the other company.
It’s hard enough to make a case for the prudence, let alone justice of anti-trust laws when the product or service at issue is something non-trivial like oil or rail services, etc. (And by “hard enough,” I mean impossible.) But digital film animation? Especially in what is almost certainly the Golden Age of film animation and, absent DoJ interference, a robustly competitive business?
For that matter, if I didn’t know that the Department of Justice is a vigilant and disinterested protector of the work force and the consumer against the rapacious greed of these heartless behemoth corporations, I might suspect that agreeing to cease these particular “anti-competitive” practices actually serves the interests of LucasFilms and Pixar to the detriment of their employees and, arguably, the viewing public.
Nah, that couldn’t be. Could it?
UPDATE: Well, it could, but in this case it isn’t. See comment by Creon Critic below. I remain of the opinion that antitrust actions against the likes of Pixar and LucasFilms is per se absurd, but at least it isn’t absurd in the way I obviously misread the story originally. My apologies.