According to a report from Bloomberg the Department of Justice’s antitrust division wants a say in a class action alleging that Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conspired to suppress medical school professors’ wages.
The DOJ said in a court notice that it expects to file a statement of interest, used to assert the government’s arguments without being a party to the lawsuit, before March 12.
The suit, filed in 2015 by a Duke University radiologist, claims that senior administrators and deans at Duke and UNC’s medical schools allegedly entered into a pact agreeing not to hire each other’s faculty members. Such agreements, called no-poach contracts, could be an antitrust violation since they can reduce employees’ wages and limit job mobility.
“The United States has a significant interest in filing a statement of interest on these issues because it enforces the federal antitrust laws and has a strong interest in their correct application,” the DOJ said in the notice, filed Feb. 6.