WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced April 3 that Knorr-Bremse AG and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec), two major rail equipment suppliers, have agreed to resolve allegations of collusion stemming from a purported agreement not to compete for each other’s employees.

“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,” Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement. “[This] settlement will restore competition for employees in the U.S. rail industry.”

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed the lawsuit against the companies in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. According to the department, Knorr and Wabtec agreed not to attempt to poach each other’s employees no later than 2009. Alleged conduct of this nature restricts competition for workers, limiting their access to better job opportunities.

“[This] 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,” Delrahim said.

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