Opportunity Economy: Risks in Antitrust Enforcement


  • The Biden administration’s recent executive order takes a hard line on limits to employment mobility, such as non-compete agreements.
  • No-poach agreements—companies agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees—and wage-fixing are a particular target of the federal focus on antitrust.
  • Companies should take a number of proactive steps, including reviewing employment contracts, reviewing M&A due diligence guidelines, establishing an antitrust compliance program, and ensuring HR professionals are informed about antitrust risks.

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health and economic concern, companies are adapting and adjusting, finding new and better ways to do business moving forward. Womble Bond Dickinson is taking a comprehensive look at this new Opportunity Economy from a wide range of viewpoints. For example, Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys David Hamilton and Sarah Motley Stone examined a renewed federal focus on antitrust enforcement and the challenges this presents to companies operating in the Opportunity Economy. They recently spoke to Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Mark Henriques on an episode of the “In-house Roundhouse” podcast, and the article below is based on that conversation.

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains the biggest X-factor in how businesses plan for the near future, other important factors remain in play and should be considered by business leaders as they position their operations to move forward. 

One of these factors is a renewed federal emphasis on antitrust enforcement. The Biden administration has made economic competition and wage suppression points of emphasis. Given that virtually any routine business activity potentially can involve antitrust issues, company leaders and their legal counsel need to be aware of how antitrust law is changing and how they can best avoid running afoul of federal regulators.

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