FTC Settles Body Camera Antitrust Suit

Law enforcement equipment manufacturer Axon acquired competitor VieVu from its former parent company Safariland, LLC. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Safariland have agreed to settle allegations that the company “entered several anticompetitive non-compete and customer non-solicitation agreements with” Axon when Axon acquired VieVu.

The FTC filed a suit in January against Axon and Safariland, challenging their agreements. The Commission only issues a complaint when it reasonably believes the law is being violated and that this is in the public interest. In response to the suit, the companies voided the non-compete and non-solicitation agreements mentioned in the suit. The proposed order settles allegations against Safariland and makes sure the two companies do not enter future agreements with anticompetitive components. Safariland must obtain FTC approval before it enters an agreement with Axon in the future that could curtail competition between the two competitors.

The prior agreement prevented Safariland from competing with Axon for any of Axon’s products now and in the future. Both companies would have minimal customer and employee solicitation. Safariland had allegedly restrained innovation and expansion as a result of its agreement with Axon. The constraints would have reduced competition and were not finite enough to protect business interests; additionally, some of the restraints were supposed to last more than ten years.

Axon previously filed a suit challenging the FTC’s complaint and its Constitutional mandate; Axon’s suit was dismissed.

The public will have 30 days to file comments about the proposed order.