A federal judge granted six individual defendants’ joint motion for judgment of acquittal in a criminal antitrust trial involving allegations that the defendants conspired to allocate the labor market for aerospace industry employees. The ruling was issued mid-trial before the jury was asked to deliberate. This ruling marks another loss for the Department of Justice in a series of no-poach and wage-fixing criminal prosecutions and is significant because the court held that the alleged no-poach agreement did not constitute a per se market allocation violation as a matter of law.
On 3 February 2023, the US Department of Justice announced the withdrawal of three antitrust policy statements that allowed certain information exchanges between competitors in healthcare markets. The day before this announcement, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Doha Mekki of DOJ Antitrust Division warned that DOJ would reconsider these outdated policy statements in light of recent changes in the healthcare industry.
On 6 December 2022, the US Department of Justice announced the unsealing of an 11-count indictment filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas charging 12 individuals from Texas and Mexico in a violent conspiracy to monopolize the transmigrante industry in Texas.
Companies looking for ways to ensure their supply chains are environmentally and socially ethical often doubt whether they can effect change alone. Companies in certain industries may decide that a joint initiative can be more effective in developing industry-wide standards, and may determine that working together could be more efficient to meet these goals or objectives. However, such collaborations may raise antitrust risks, and many competition authorities are starting to increase scrutiny of these types of collaborations.
On 19 September 2022, the US Attorney for the District of Montana and the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division filed a criminal information against and plea agreement with the president and owner of a paving and asphalt company to resolve a charge of attempted monopolization. The company owner pled guilty to engaging in anticompetitive conduct with the intent to gain monopoly power in the markets for highway crack sealing services in Montana and Wyoming by proposing to a competitor that they enter into a market-allocation agreement in which the two companies would stop competing against each other by dividing territories in Montana and Wyoming. The company owner also agreed to pay a fine of USD 27,000.
Baker McKenzie’s Government Procurement Update resource center gives you the latest guidance, trends and enforcement actions related to government procurement (both US government contracting and international financing institutions), including suspension and debarment, bid protests, and False Claims Act defense. Calling upon our deep bench of more than 4,000 lawyers and legal professionals worldwide, we will occasionally feature guest practitioners to write about related topics in the criminal, civil, and administrative context. Readers can expect to find practical guidance and tips for compliance with public procurement policies as well as best practices for managing government inquiries and litigation.
On 9 July 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order announcing his administration’s commitment to increasing vigorous antitrust enforcement. At the one-year anniversary of the EO, a recent flurry of enforcement efforts signals that the Department of Justice remains vigilant in carrying out the EO’s initiatives, especially in the labor markets.
On 15 February 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD) released a 30-page report titled State of Competition within the Defense Industrial Base (“Report”) surveying the state of competition across key defense sectors and laying out recommendations to spur increased competition in the defense industrial base. The Report is one of many required by numerous agencies in response to Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order.
Two years ago, on 5 November 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the formation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). DOJ press releases indicated the purpose was to create a joint, collaborative interagency partnership focused on deterring, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting antitrust crimes. The Strike Force has prosecutors from 22 US Attorneys’ Offices and 7 national law enforcement partner agencies, including the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Inspectors General for multiple Federal agencies. To date, the PCSF is active in almost a quarter of US judicial districts and coordinates with many US agencies and offices.