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DOJ and FTC Issue Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals

October 27, 2016View for printing

Everyone knows that price-fixing among sellers of competing products is illegal, but price-fixing by buyers can also violate the antitrust laws. That is true even in the market for buying services of employees, regardless of whether the colluding employers are competitors in their downstream markets. In other words, it does not matter under the antitrust laws whether the employers have competing products - only that they compete for employees and enter into an agreement to restrain trade within the employee market.

Last week the nation's two leading antitrust enforcers - the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division (DOJ) - published Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals, along with an index card of "red flags," reminding employers and HR personnel in particular that the antitrust laws will be enforced to prevent agreements that restrain competition in the employment market.

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