Reed Smith Client Alerts

Key takeaways

  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped one of its last remaining criminal no-poach and wage-fixing cases.
  • While it is yet to be determined whether the DOJ will pursue additional criminal no-poach and wage-fixing cases going forward, expect that U.S. antitrust enforcers will continue to focus on labor markets.

On November 13, 2023, the DOJ moved to dismiss one of its last no-poach criminal cases. The charges were against an operator of ambulatory surgery centers who had allegedly participated in two conspiracies with other health care companies to suppress competition for the services of senior-level employees. In its motion, the DOJ did not provide a rationale for the dismissal, other than a statement that dismissal is not “contrary to manifest public interest, and it will allow the conservation of this Court’s time and resources.”

This dismissal followed the DOJ’s failure to secure a single conviction in three other no-poach or wage-fixing cases brought to trial since April 2022. The most recent loss occurred in April 2023 when a federal judge in Connecticut acquitted six executives for allegedly conspiring to allocate the labor market for aerospace employees.