A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Neeraj Jindal, the former owner of a therapist staffing company, for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices by lowering the rates paid to physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in north Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the Department of Justice announced today. The indictment also charges Jindal with obstruction of the Federal Trade Commission’s separate investigation into this conduct.
Price fixing is per se illegal under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. This appears to be an alleged horizontal price-fixing claim. One element in this type of charge is that the conduct must “unreasonably” restraint trade. That inquiry depends on the degree of the restraint’s adverse effect on competition and on the degree of any pro-competitive effects from restrain.