A Meridian company that does drug and alcohol testing for commercial trucking companies and drivers has agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that the company “illegally invited one of its competitors to enter into a customer allocation agreement.”
The FTC alleged that David Crossett, president of Drug Testing Compliance Group LLC based in Meridian, complained on June 27, 2014, to an unnamed competitor that the competitor’s salespeople were luring away Drug Testing Compliance Group’s customers.
Crossett then met with the competitor on July 10, 2014, and proposed that they both agree not to sell, or attempt to sell, services to each other’s customers, the FTC said.
“Mr. Crossett referred to this arrangement as ‘First Call Wins,’ and explained that such agreement would allow each company to sell its services to customers without fearing that its rival would later undercut it with a lower price offer,” the FTC said.
The FTC’s commission voted 4-0 to issue a complaint and accept a proposed settlement, subject to a 30-day public comment period that ends Jan. 13. (Click here to submit comments. Click here to read an FTC analysis.) The commission will vote on whether to make the settlement final after the comment period.
The proposed settlement says DTC Group is not admitting guilt by agreeing to settle the claims.
The settlement would prohibit DTC Group from talking with competitors about prices and from making deals with competitors to “divide markets, allocate customers or fix prices; and from urging any competitor to raise, fix or maintain prices, or to limit or reduce service.”