(Reuters) – A jury in Denver, Colorado, acquitted dialysis provider DaVita and its former CEO Kent Thiry on Friday of charges that they conspired with competitors not to hire each other’s employees.

The Justice Department had alleged in the case that both DaVita and Surgical Care Affiliates LLC required senior-level employees who sought to work for them to notify their current employers that they were job-hunting.

“The jury affirmed that this case should never have been brought,” Thiry said in a statement. “I want to thank the community that provided so much support through this difficult time.”

While enforcers have traditionally focused on prices and innovation in enforcing antitrust law, the Biden administration has shifted its emphasis somewhat to put more focus on illegal agreements that might push down wages.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz, Mike Scarcella and Katanga Johnson)