FTC orders glass container makers to drop noncompete restrictions
The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it has issued final consent orders requiring two glass container manufacturers to drop noncompete restrictions.
The FTC said it finalized consent orders against Toledo, Ohio-based O-I Glass Inc., formerly Owens-Illinois Inc., and Luxembourg-based Ardagh Group S.A., which has U.S. operations.
The FTC said the final orders against O-I Glass and Ardagh place a number of requirements and restrictions on the companies, including a provision that prohibits them from enforcing, threatening to enforce or imposing noncompetes against any relevant employees.
The commission voted 3-1 to approve the final orders, with Commissioner Christine S. Wilson, the commission’s sole Republican, dissenting.
In a statement on the cases issued in January, FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said three firms dominate the glass manufacturing sector nationally and O-I and Ardagh “imposed noncompete restrictions on, collectively, thousands of employees, including those working in key glass production, engineering, and quality assurance roles,” which “locked up highly specialized workers.”
In her dissent, Ms. Wilson said the three-page complaints against the companies “are woefully devoid of details that would support the Commission’s allegations.”
Ms. Wilson announced in a Wall Street Journal opinion column earlier this month that she plans to resign.
The companies did not respond to requests for comment.
In January, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a sweeping ban on noncompete agreements in employment contracts, but opponents say implementation could be delayed or prevented by litigation charging the agency has exceeded its authority.