Apple chief executive Steve Jobs reportedly asked Palm chief executive Ed Colligan to agree not to hire employees away from his company.
A report on Bloomberg news cites communications between the two executives in reporting that Jobs sought an unwritten agreement in which both companies would agree not to recruit each others' workers.
The report suggests that Colligan refused the offer, and classified such a deal as "likely illegal".
The conversation is said to have occurred shortly after former Apple executive Jon Rubenstein left the company to head up development of Palm's Pre smartphone. Jobs was quoted in the report as saying that "we must do whatever we can to stop this" in regards to Palm's hiring of Apple employees.
News of the conversations come as Apple finds itself under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for its ties with Google.
Apple and Google were said to have a nearly identical arrangement to the one Jobs allegedly proposed to Colligan, in which neither firm would recruit active employees from the other.
That agreement reportedly ended when Google chief executive Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple's board of directors following concerns of conflicts of interest.
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