April 23, 2024

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Pilgrim’s Pleasure, Tyson Meals settle some rooster rate-fixing litigation

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp and Tyson Foodstuff Inc mentioned on Monday they have settled cost-repairing litigation by a group of poultry buyers that accused them of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to inflate hen rates.

Chicken is pictured in New York

FILE Image: Hen is pictured in New York March 11, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

REUTERS: Pilgrim’s Satisfaction Corp and Tyson Foodstuff Inc mentioned on Monday they have settled price tag-repairing litigation by a group of poultry buyers that accused them of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to inflate hen selling prices.

Pilgrim’s Pride, owned largely by Brazil’s JBS SA, will spend US$75 million to settle promises by purchasers that purchased chickens directly from the organization. The sizing of Tyson’s settlement with the exact purchasers was not disclosed.

Neither firm admitted legal responsibility, and both said settling was in their most effective interests.

Both settlements need acceptance by a federal decide in Chicago.

Neither has an effect on statements by “oblique” purchasers, which incorporate cafe and grocery store operators these types of as Chick-fil-A, Kroger Co and Target Inc as perfectly as regular buyers.

They also do not have an impact on claims versus other defendants, this kind of as Sanderson Farms Inc and Perdue Farms Inc.

Pilgrim’s settlement is the biggest in far more than four decades of litigation by dining establishments, supermarkets and food distributors above alleged selling price-correcting in the US$65 billion chicken field https://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-business/figures/broiler-rooster-business-key-facts.

A several scaled-down hen producers previously achieved equivalent settlements totaling US$13 million.

Comparable litigation has been pending in Minneapolis federal court docket accusing Tyson, a different JBS unit and other pork producers of conspiring to inflate pork selling prices by limiting supply.

The Pilgrim’s settlement follows that firm’s arrangement in Oct to pay a US$110.5 million wonderful to resolve a U.S. Department of Justice prison price-correcting probe.

Last year, the Justice Section also filed prison selling price-fixing and bid-rigging prices https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/six-further-individuals-indicted-antitrust-expenses-ongoing-broiler-hen-investigation in Denver towards 10 poultry sector executives. All have pleaded not guilty.

The case is In re Broiler Rooster Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court docket, Northern District of Illinois, No. 16-08637.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York enhancing by Richard Pullin)