If Leegin makes leather products and I want to sell those products, I am still part of that chain/structure until I stop selling leegin. But as soon as I stop selling Leegin, I can do whatever I want. Vertical hold cases deal with what I can do when distributing/reselling Leegin. The separation is obvious. As part of the worker`s non-competition clause, the employee left the company. It is no longer part of the chain. A key factor in many courts that mistakenly think that the rule of reason should apply is the historical view of workers` prohibitions of competition as harmless vertical restraints. But this view is totally absurd. Adopting this position is an unfortunate product of corporate well-being, legal activism and trust in totally unenforceable laws. The usual (erroneous) argument is that antitrust laws do not prohibit professional organizations from adopting reasonable codes of ethics to protect the public.
For example, the FTC prevented the dialysis clinic operator from buying five clinics and paying its competitor to close three more. The sales contract also included a non-compete clause preventing the seller from opening a new clinic in the same area for five years and obliging the seller to impose non-compete obligations in its contracts with the medical directors of the closed establishments. . . .