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The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with Knorr-Bremse AG and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec), two of the world’s largest rail equipment suppliers, to resolve a department lawsuit alleging that the companies had for years maintained unlawful agreements not to compete for each other’s employees. The lawsuit further alleges that the companies entered into similar “no-poach” agreements with rail equipment supplier Faiveley Transport S.A. before Faiveley was acquired by Wabtec in November 2016.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge Knorr and Wabtec’s no-poach agreements. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the department’s competitive concerns and restore competition for employees, to the benefit of U.S. workers.

“The unlawful no-poach agreements challenged today restrained competition for employees and deprived rail industry workers of important opportunities, information, and the ability to obtain better terms of employment,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s settlement will restore competition for employees in the U.S. rail industry.”

“Today’s complaint is part of a broader investigation by the Antitrust Division into naked agreements not to compete for employees—generally referred to as no-poach agreements. As part of today’s settlement, Knorr and Wabtec are required to cooperate with the Antitrust Division in any investigation into additional no-poach agreements to which they may have been counterparties,” continued Assistant Attorney General Delrahim. The department has also agreed as part of the settlement that it will not bring further civil actions or criminal charges against Knorr or Wabtec in connection with any other potential no-poach agreements that the companies disclosed to the department prior to today’s lawsuit.

According to the department’s complaint, Knorr and Wabtec compete with each other to attract, hire, and retain various skilled employees, including project managers, engineers, executives, business unit heads, and corporate officers. The department’s complaint alleges that: Read more

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The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with Knorr-Bremse AG and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec), two of the world’s largest rail equipment suppliers, to resolve a department lawsuit alleging that the companies had for years maintained unlawful agreements not to compete for each other’s employees. The lawsuit further alleges that the companies entered into similar “no-poach” agreements with rail equipment supplier Faiveley Transport S.A. before Faiveley was acquired by Wabtec in November 2016.