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The growing consensus is that yesterday's iTunes screenshots which showed Apple opening it up to 3rd party devices were faked. That's no surprise, really, because we didn't expect the heat between Palm and Apple to cool. Today we have a story at Bloomberg confirming that tensions between the two companies has actually been simmering for quite a long time.

Apparently back in 2007 - i.e. just when Palm was beginning the process of reinventing itself - Steve Jobs asked Ed Colligan to join a deal with Apple to not poach each others' employees.  Bloomberg has the story:

Apple’s CEO, told Colligan he was concerned that Rubinstein was recruiting Apple employees. “We must do whatever we can to stop this,” Jobs said in the communications

Colligan rebuffed jobs, calling the suggestion "likely illegal."  The rest, as you know, is history - Palm went on a former Apple employee hiring binge.  It had already started with now-CEO Jon Rubinstein and went up and down the chain. Steve Jobs was reported to be very angry about Palm hiring Apple engineers - Fake Steve Jobs' post back in January 08 on the subject is starting to look less like parody and more like prescience.

The proposed deal, if it happened and if it had gone through, likely would have been illegal enough for the Department of Justice to investigate, writes Bloomberg.  Indeed, the specter of such an investigation may have spurred Palm to release the relevant documents to Bloomberg in the first place.

The interesting twist here is that we've heard rumors of Apple actually having such a deal with Google. What this looks like to me is that Palm  letting it be known to the world that their main competitor has a history of this sort of thing in light of a possible DOJ investigation into Apple/Google collusion.

If this were a Fake Jon Rubinstein blog, I'd be writing "Hm, the government is investigating ties between Apple and Google? Turns out they have a history of trying to make these deals.  I'm not saying, I'm just saying."

If you thought Palm had chutzpah before with the iTunes back and forth, how do you like these Apples?

[via The iPhone Blog]