Major retailers jump into chicken price-fixing fray

Major retailers jump into chicken price-fixing fray

By Tom Johnston on 7/2/2018

The Kroger Co., Hy-Vee Inc. and Albertsons Companies Inc. on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Chicago accusing Tyson Foods Inc. and a long line of the nation’s largest chicken processors of price fixing, according to court documents.

The supermarket giants’ complaint is the latest in a series of similar lawsuits beginning in 2016, claiming that the chicken industry colluded to control production and manipulate prices from 2008 to 2016.

In January 2017, the defendants filed several motions to dismiss the original litigation, citing lack of evidence that any price-fixing took place. But a federal judge in late 2017 declined to dismiss the class-action litigation.

Also that year, defendant Fieldale Farms agreed to pay $2.25 million to settle claims that it participated in the alleged scheme.

The latest chicken price-fixing suit came a day after a group of consumers filed suit against the pork industry’s largest players accusing them of the same type of conspiracy in the pork market.