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Amazon is suing Google over its hiring of Brian Hall, a former AWS marketing executive, to serve as a VP of marketing for Google Cloud, citing a non-compete clause in Hall's contract.

The big picture: The move speaks to the level of competition between Amazon and Google — as well as the fact that Washington state still allows some non-compete agreements, while the clauses are generally unenforceable in California.

Details:

  • In its suit, Amazon is seeking to enforce an 18-month non-compete provision that Hall signed when he joined the company and asking a King County, Washington, court to issue an injunction preventing Hall from joining Google.
  • In his response, Hall said communications with Amazon had led him to believe the company would not enforce the non-compete provision and asked the court to declare the clause unenforceable.
  • Hall stopped working at Amazon in February and his last official day was in March. He agreed to join Google in April, according to court papers.

Context: The move comes as tech companies are widening the types of jobs in which they try to enforce non-compete agreements.

  • Amazon previously sued over an AWS sales executive who joined Google.
  • IBM also turned to the courts, suing when its chief diversity officer went to Microsoft, though the dispute was later settled, with the executive joining Microsoft after a delay.
  • A Google representative declined to comment on the suit, and an Amazon representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Sep 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Andrew Gillum says he is bisexual

Andrew Gillum. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, came out as bisexual in an interview with Tamron Hall on Monday.

Driving the news: "I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual. And that is something that I have never shared publicly before," Gillum, who was once considered a rising star in the Democratic party after his Florida gubernatorial run in 2018, told Hall.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
54 mins ago - Health

Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
57 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO: SEC lawsuit is "bad for crypto" in the U.S.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by U.S. regulators, it would put the country at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Between the lines: The SEC in December sued Ripple, and Garlinghouse personally, for allegedly selling over $1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple's response is that its cryptocurrency, called XRP, didn't require registration because it's an asset rather than a security.