O’Melveny Worldwide

Global Competition Review: DOJ Should Reconsider No-Poach Prosections, Defense Bar Says

May 2, 2023

US District Judge Victor A. Bolden dismissed the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s no-poach case against six aerospace executives over a conspiracy to fix wages and limit hiring, concluding that no reasonable jury would convict the defendants with the evidence provided. The Antitrust Division, which was pursuing charges based on a per se violation of the Sherman Act, has now failed for a fourth time to proceed with a no-poach prosecution before reaching a jury. “If they had strong facts… this might have come in differently,” said O’Melveny partner Anna Pletcher, a former DOJ official. Pletcher also noted that proving a no-poach agreement as a per se violation is difficult because there are other reasons for companies to enter into such agreements.

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