There is more compression in the highlights, but there is compression everywhere. That's why compensating techniques usually require an increase in exposure (which doesn't help much), and true compensating/acutance developers tend to compress midtones as well. Compensating techniques with general purpose solvent developers don't do as much as people think they do.

Compensating techniques need to be used carefully or you can easily end up with negative that ends up being more difficult to print than if you had given a more mild contraction.

So I'll say it again: Compensation allows a greater total subject brightness range to print straight on a particular contrast grade. Local contrast throughout is another story.