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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved two final orders settling charges that ski equipment manufacturers Marker Völkl (International) GmbH and Tecnica Group S.p.A. for many years illegally agreed not to compete for one another’s ski endorsers or employees.

According to the FTC’s May 2014 complaint, starting in 2004, the two companies illegally agreed not to compete with each other to secure endorsements by professional skiers. Specifically, the FTC charged that Marker Völkl agreed not to solicit, recruit, or contact any skier who previously endorsed Tecnica skis, and Tecnica agreed to a similar arrangement with respect to Marker Völkl’s endorsers.

In addition, according to the FTC, in 2007, the companies expanded the scope of their non-compete agreement to cover all of their employees. The purpose was to avoid bidding up the cost of securing endorsements from skiers, as well as the salaries of their employees.

The final orders settling the FTC’s charges [Marker Völkl order | Tecnica Group order] bar each firm from engaging in similar anticompetitive conduct in the future.

The Commission vote approving the final orders was 5-0. (FTC File No. 121-0004; the staff contact is Mark Taylor, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2287)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs