Towards an Employment Cartel Law?

February 2022
Region: Europe

Recent developments in enforcement against anti-competitive recruitment practices.

Competition law has traditionally focused on investigating companies in relation to their conduct towards the market – agreements between competitors to fix prices, share markets or limit production. However, competition authorities have recently turned to more sophisticated forms of collaboration, most notably between buyers. In recent years, the European Commission, for instance, has repeatedly fined companies for colluding to lower the prices they pay their suppliers. These are agreements with a view to increasing profitability not by maximising revenue, but by minimising cost.

Wages are obviously a cost factor. It follows that competition authorities have increasingly started looking at anti-competitive agreements between employers in relation to recruitment and terms of employment. In this article, we describe this evolving trend among competition authorities, its expected adoption by regulators and the resulting challenges for human resources professionals and employers.

Reproduced here with permission from Competition Law Insight.