Public Workshop on Promoting Competition in Labor Markets

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Workshop Information

The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly hosted a virtual public workshop on December 6-7, 2021, to discuss efforts to promote competitive labor markets and worker mobility. The workshop brought together lawyers, economists, academics, policy experts, labor groups, and workers, and covered recent developments at the intersection of antitrust and labor, as well as implications for efforts to protect and empower workers through competition enforcement and rulemaking.

A series of panels, presentations, and remarks addressed competition issues affecting labor markets and the welfare of workers, including:

  • Labor monopsony
  • The increased use of restrictive contractual clauses in labor agreements, including noncompetes and nondisclosure agreements
  • Information sharing and benchmarking activity among competing employers
  • The role of other federal agencies in ensuring fair competition in labor markets
  • The relationship between antitrust law and collective bargaining efforts in the “gig economy”

Panelists were invited to discuss potential steps antitrust enforcers can take to better target enforcement resources, improve public guidance, and pursue a whole-of-government approach to ensuring fair competition for workers and consumers by leveraging interagency resources.

October 27, 2021

Press Release: Department of Justice Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission to Hold Workshop on Promoting Competition in Labor Markets

December 1, 2021

Press Release: Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission Announce Agenda for Dec. 6 and 7 Workshop ‘Making Competition Work: Promoting Competition in Labor Markets’

Date and Virtual Attendance

December 6, 2021
10:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

December 7, 2021
10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

The workshop was free and open to the public and made available as a webcast.

Workshop Agenda

Document iconAgenda PDF

Document iconBiographies of workshop’s speakers, panelists, and moderators

Monday, December 6, 2021

The following resources are also linked on the FTC's event web page:

Document iconDecember 6 Transcript PDF

Video iconDecember 6 Video

10:00–10:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Jonathan Kanter, Department of Justice

Lina Khan, Federal Trade Commission

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Litigating Labor Monopsony: Mergers and Unilateral Conduct

Participants

Rachel Brass, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Joshua Davis, University of San Francisco, School of Law

Michael Kades, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Jeffrey Kessler, Winston & Strawn LLP

Fiona Scott Morton, Yale School of Management

Moderator

Doha Mekki, Department of Justice

11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Break for Lunch

1:00–2:00 p.m.

Labor Perspective on Competition Issues

Participants

Lisa Frank, SEIU Healthcare, Pennsylvania

Iain Gold, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

John Marshall, CFA, United Food and Commercial Workers

Marka Peterson, Strategic Organizing Center

Shannon Wait, Communications Workers of America

Moderator

Miriam Larson-Koester, Federal Trade Commission

2:00–2:10 p.m.

Break

2:10–2:15 p.m.

Videos from the Public

2:15–3:30 p.m.

Contractual Restraints That Can Impede Worker Mobility

Participants

Richard Cassidy, Rich Cassidy Law

Terri Gerstein, Harvard Labor and Worklife Program and Economic Policy Institute

Marcia Goodman, Mayer Brown

Evan Starr, University of Maryland

Moderators

Daniel Gilman, Federal Trade Commission

Michael Lipsitz, Federal Trade Commission

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The following resources are also linked on the FTC's event web page:

Document iconDecember 7 Transcript PDF

Video iconDecember 7 Video

10:00–10:05 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

10:05–10:30 a.m.

Morning Keynote

Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Information Sharing Among Employers: Harms, Benchmarks & Lessons from Industry

Participants

Laura Alexander, American Antitrust Institute

Peter Carstensen, University of Wisconsin-Madison Law

Joe Harrington, Wharton School of Business

Doug Melamed, Stanford University

Nate Miller, Georgetown McDonough School of Business

Moderators

Ryan Danks, Department of Justice

Elena Prager, Department of Justice

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Break for Lunch

12:45–1:00 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote

Tim Wu, Special Assistant to the President

1:00–2:00 p.m.

Building a “Whole-of-Government” Competition Policy

Participants

Sharon Block, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Heather Boushey, Council of Economic Advisors

Ben Harris, Department of Treasury

Raj Nayak, Department of Labor

Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute

Moderator

Jack Mellyn, Department of Justice

2:00–2:15 p.m.

Break

2:15–3:15 p.m.

Fireside Chat: Worker Bargaining and the Antitrust Laws – 19th Century Through the Present

Participants

Herbert Hovenkamp, University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Wharton School

Sanjukta Paul, Wayne State University

Moderator

Andrew Schupanitz, Department of Justice

3:15–3:30 p.m.

Break

3:30–4:30 p.m.

Collective Bargaining in the Gig Economy

Participants

Jennifer Abruzzo, National Labor Relations Board

Gail Levine, Mayer Brown

Marshall Steinbaum, University of Utah

John Taladay, Baker Botts

Sandeep Vaheesan, Open Markets Institute

Moderator

Eric Dunn, Department of Justice

4:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Karina Lubell, Department of Justice

Public Comment Submissions

The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission invited comments from the public, on the topics covered by this workshop, through December 20, 2021. The comment period is now closed. View posted comments at Regulations.gov.

Privacy and Confidentiality: Written submissions and the identity of the submitter may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed by publication and/or posting at Regulations.gov, at the discretion of the Department of Justice. Information that is submitted in connection with this event cannot be maintained as confidential by the Department of Justice. Written submissions should not include any information that the submitting person seeks to preserve as private or confidential.

Copyrighted Material: The Department of Justice will not post copyrighted material included in comments without permission from the copyright owner(s).

Updated December 21, 2021

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