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U.S. antitrust official says competition in labor markets a top concern By Reuters

© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This sign can be seen at Washington, D.C., U.S.A, on May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photograph

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department’s Acting Head of the Antitrust Division stated Friday that labor markets are a priority in enforcement efforts. This indicates a shift towards issues identified by President Obama’s executive order regarding competition.

Although antitrust enforcers may have filed labor antitrust lawsuits in the past and the Trump Administration brought one against an agreement that prohibited rail equipment suppliers from poaching in 2018, these cases are very rare.

Richard Powers, the acting head of division, stated, “The division is becoming increasingly aware to and concerned about business conduct and transactions which harm competition for workers people.” He spoke at an event in New York.

Powers stated that the attention on labor had become more urgent due to the coronavirus epidemic. Powers stated, “If it was essential for enforcers of labor markets to protect competition years ago, which I believe it was,”

Any violation of antitrust law that would lower wages is “just like irredeemable as arrangements to fix product prices or allocate market, which the division has pursued over 100 years.” Powers said that the division had been investing significant time and resources in labor markets.

The two most commonly criticized in the labor market are non-compete and no-poach. In these agreements, companies promise not to hire workers from other firms.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.