January 21, 2021
Tyson Foods agrees to more chicken price-fixing litigation settlements
Tyson Foods said it has agreed to settle with two more groups of plaintiffs that have accused the company of colluding to inflate chicken prices in the US$65 billion poultry sector, Reuters reported.
The company's settlements with “end-user” consumers and with more than 30 commercial purchasers were revealed in filings with the Chicago federal court on January 19.
Tyson Foods had agreed to settle related antitrust claims by buyers who purchased chickens directly from the company on January 11.
Major restaurant and supermarkets such as Chick-fil-A, Kroger, and Walmart have also accused Tyson Foods of chicken price-fixing.
The settlements' terms were not revealed and is pending court approvals. Tyson Foods did not provide comments on the settlements.
On January 11, Pilgrim's Pride agreed to pay US$75 million to settle claims by direct chicken buyers. The company is owned by Brazil's JBS SA.
Chicken producers have been accused of inflating chicken prices since 2008 by restaurants, supermarkets, food distributors, and consumers. The companies allegedly used tactics like restricting production and sharing nonpublic data about supply and demand.
The other defendants named in the litigation were Perdue Farms and Sanderson Farms. A few smaller producers have settled related claims.
Last year, the United States Department of Justice filed criminal charges against 10 poultry industry executives related to price-fixing and bid-rigging charges. All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.