The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued a joint statement (the “COVID-19 Statement”) regarding what constitutes lawful “procompetitive collaborations” between companies to address certain needs for consumers and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.  It also detailed what constitutes unlawful anticompetitive behavior related to essential and frontline workers and other vulnerable employees.  The DOJ and FTC used this opportunity to send a clear warning to companies who may seek to take advantage of the current pandemic by entering into agreements to restrain competition and employee mobility or lower wages.  Separately, for those companies who are actively working to assist essential workers, businesses and the country as a whole, the COVID-19 Statement provides guidance on engaging in lawful “procompetitive collaboration” to benefit essential workers and the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Continue Reading DOJ and FTC Issue Joint Statement Regarding COVID-19 and Antitrust Violations

In October, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” and collectively the “Antitrust Agencies”) jointly issued new guidance for Human Resource professionals regarding agreements between competitors related to hiring and compensation of employees (the “Guidance”).  The Guidance explains the Antitrust Agencies’ position with regard to wage-fixing[1] and no-poaching[2] agreements between competitors in the employment marketplace.[3]  It also highlights the agencies’ intent to shift toward criminal prosecution of companies and individuals who enter into these types of agreements when they are not ancillary to a legitimate business collaboration, such as a joint venture or a merger or acquisition.
Continue Reading New Guidance for HR Professionals Regarding Wage-Fixing and No-Poaching Agreements Highlights New Focus on Criminal Prosecutions and Raises New Concerns for Employer