Legal Battlefield for Antitrust in the EU & US Labour Markets - McDermott

Non-Poaching Agreements: A New Legal Battlefield for Antitrust in the EU & US Labour Markets

Overview


In the United States, the DOJ is taking an aggressive stance in criminal antitrust investigations relating to labor markets and in particular against alleged “no-poach” agreements. The European Commission and National Competition authorities have also been recently focusing on these alleged restrictions of competition. This novel approach is far from decided. Recently a jury acquitted DaVita, Inc. and its former CEO in the first criminal “no-poach” trial ever brought by the DOJ. The complete acquittal of both defendants and the rulings of the trial court cast doubt on whether the per se standard is appropriate for “no-poach” agreements and whether such agreements should be prosecuted criminally at all.

The McDermott team represented the former DaVita CEO. Two of the trial team members were Jeffrey Stone and Justin Murphy. Jeffrey Stone is a former assistant US attorney who is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Justin P. Murphy is also a former federal prosecutor who spent many years working for the DOj.

In the European Union, only the Portuguese Competition Authority has issued for the first time statements of objections to an anti-competitive labour market agreement, whereas the French Competition Authority already fined companies for no-poach agreement as part of a wider cartel arrangement.

Frédéric Pradelles and Jeffrey Stone took a select audience through an in-depth, interactive panel moderated by Justin Murphy and in collaboration with Concurrences.

To read some key takeaways from the session, please click here.

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