Tyson Foods says cooperating with DOJ in chicken price-fixing probe
- On Wednesday, Tyson Foods Inc. reported that the company is cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice on a price-fixing investigation in the poultry industry, under a program that could protect the meat processor from criminal prosecution.
- The formal grant under the DOJ’s corporate leniency program would mean neither the company nor its employees will face criminal fines, jail time or prosecution.
- Tyson was served a subpoena back in April and the news comes just one week after the chief executive of poultry company Pilgrim’s Pride was indicted along with three other current and former industry executives on charges of seeking to fix chicken prices in the U.S.
- Grocer, retailers and consumers have accused Pilgrim’s Pride, Tyson Foods and other poultry processors of conspiring since 2008 to inflate prices for broiler chickens.
Class action lawsuit filed against beef packers
- Tyson, Cargill, JBS USA, and National Beef have yet another lawsuit brought against them, this time for potential cattle market manipulation as a class action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota by Central Grocers.
- This comes at a time when all four packers are currently under investigation by the DOJ.
- The class action lawsuit alleges that the companies conspired to constrain beef supplies since at least the start of 2015.
- A confidential witness has come forward to confirm the conspiracy among the packers.
- This witness, who was previously employed by one of the packers, reported that the four packers agreed to reduce their cattle purchases and slaughter volumes with the purpose and effect of increasing their profit margins. Collusion was also occurring.
- These actions created a surplus of cattle and a shortage of beef.
- Daniel Karon, legal counsel in the class action lawsuit said, “Price fixing destroys the integrity of the marketplace. It results in buyers overpaying for products. The marketplace needs to be fair for buyers and sellers who want fair treatment. The antirust laws exist to encourage fairness over greed.”
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef; 235.56 (-.50)
- Select boxed beef; $219.88 (-2.96)