Pilgrim’s Pride recently decided to resolve a $ 75 million price-fixing lawsuit.
Pilgrim’s Pride has been at the center of price fixing for years and recently decided to pay settlements and fines of around $ 200 million. Of that $ 200 million, $ 75 million will be made available for a civil settlement.
Hammer rests on open book; Image by Verkeorg, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
A press release on this topic states: “Restaurant chains, including Chik-fil-A, as well as Super Market, CPG company and grocers have filed civil lawsuits against chicken processors over antitrust charges in recent years. “It is important to note that in this case not every complaint against the company will be resolved as there are still pending lawsuits from restaurant chains and supermarkets. However, more settlements of this type are expected in the future.
The price fixes were originally filed in 2019 and affected the entire industry. Although the allegations were revealed in 2019, the complaints went back years. For example, the US Department of Justice became embroiled in a 2016 price-fixing lawsuit in which chicken producers – including Pilgrim’s, Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods, and Sanderson Farms – were accused of conspiring to raise prices. From there, the DOJ has summoned Tyson, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson, and other poultry producers.
Pilgrim’s Pride is the country’s second largest chicken producer. Agreeing with the payment of the recent settlements and fines shows she is willing to work hard to deviate from the allegations. Over the past year, the company has been in the news a lot about these allegations. Just last year “the company previous two CEOs were officials among 10 poultry producers accused of fixing prices. ”Jayson Penn, the youngest CEO, was charged in June. In September he was finally replaced by the then CFO Fabio Sandri.
At around the same time, the coronavirus pandemic was raging across the country, causing “trouble for meat companies, many of which had spent hundreds of millions on precautions in plants.” Many also “face unlawful death lawsuits among their workers”. That said, having to shell out money for fines and settlements is not ideal, but it will help free the company “from a probe that has been tracking it for years.” In fact, the company hopes it could be the strategic move that will enable it to move on without admitting wrongdoing.
Over the years, the antitrust allegations have only escalated. For this reason, other chicken processors and meat processors are likely to step forward to offer settlements. It is important to note that price fixing isn’t just about the chicken industry. In fact, JBS recently agreed to a settlement and ended a lawsuit accusing the company of “establishing the pork process for direct buyers through conspiracy with other meat processors.”
Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson file price fixes for chicken buyers
Pilgrim Pride, Tyson Foods, is resolving some litigation regarding the setting of chicken prices