While antitrust enforcement is most often focused on illegal agreements among sellers, such as price fixing and bid rigging or customer or territorial allocation, enforcers also have challenged agreements among competitors for inputs into manufacturing a product or providing a service. As early as 1905, the Department successfully alleged that a group of meatpackers had formed an illegal cartel to reduce the price they paid for cattle. And the Department has recently said that “it makes no distinction between seller cartels and buyer cartels” in its enforcement.2 In hiring and setting wage rates for employees, companies are buyers, just as they are buyers for any input into their product and service.
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