Bloomberg reports that former Palm CEO Ed Colligan rejected a proposal in 2007 from Apple’s head man Steve Jobs to refrain from hiring each other’s employees, declaring it wrong and “likely illegal.” The news agency claims to have reviewed communications between the two men, which occurred two months after Apple had introduced the first iPhone and Palm had hired former Apple executive, Jon Rubinstein, to develop new smartphones. The report notes that Jobs told Colligan he was concerned that Rubinstein was recruiting Apple employees. “We must do whatever we can to stop this,” Jobs allegedly said in the communications.

Certainly competition between the two companies has heated up in recent years. In June Palm launched its high-profile Pre device, designed to take on the iPhone in the smartphone space. In the same month Palm announced that Rubinstein – instrumental in development of the Pre product – was to become its new chairman and CEO. Recently the two companies have also been in a spat concerning Palm’s efforts to make its Pre phone sync with Apple’s iTunes software.