March 10, 2020
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”), we are pleased to submit these comments to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in response to the FTC’s Request for Comment regarding employers’ use of non-compete agreements.
The Chamber believes non-compete agreements can have a legitimate role in employment contracts. Further, the Chamber sees as unnecessary rulemaking by the FTC under either its unfair methods of competition authority (assuming such authority even exists), or its unfair and deceptive practices authority. At a federal level, anticompetitive non-compete clauses should be enforced as a matter of antitrust law under the appropriate rule of reason analysis applied to the given facts of a specific case. Where non-compete clauses raise concerns beyond the scope of the antitrust laws, those concerns should be decided as a matter of contract law by the courts, or left to state legislatures to intentionally design an approach to non-compete agreements that reflects the priorities and needs of their local communities and economies.
Please find the Chamber's full comments in the attached document.