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Aerospace Engineers Acquitted In Labor Antitrust Suit

 |  April 30, 2023

Six aerospace engineering managers in Connecticut were acquitted by a federal judge on Friday of charges related to conspiring to limit employee hiring and recruitment. This ruling is yet another setback for the US Justice Department in its ongoing efforts to prosecute antitrust violations in the labor market, reported Reuters. 

US District Judge Victor Bolden made a ruling in Bridgeport federal court following a trial that lasted several weeks, prior to a jury verdict.

The Connecticut case involved defendants, including a former Pratt & Whitney manager, who were accused of participating in a conspiracy. Neither Raytheon nor Pratt & Whitney were charged in the case. Raytheon chose not to provide a comment.

Read more: Indicted Aerospace Execs Ask Judge To Dismiss DOJ’s Antitrust Suit

The defense lawyers filed a court document on Thursday criticizing the charges, stating that they had not been adequately proven.

According to Bolden’s order, it was determined that the market for skilled aerospace labor had not stopped competition. The alleged hiring agreement had exceptions that made it unable to divide the labor market in a meaningful way.

The prosecutors in a labor-focused criminal antitrust case have experienced four trial losses in approximately one year.