Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods have agreed to settle claims made by a group of poultry buyers that accused them of conspiring to inflate chicken prices.
The US chicken producers reached a deal on Monday to resolve a four-year legal battle over alleged over price-fixing collusion in the chicken industry.
As part of the agreement, Pilgrim’s will pay $75 million to settle claims by purchasers that bought chickens directly from the company, which will be reflected in its Q4 2020 financial statement. Meanwhile, Tyson’s settlement amount was not disclosed.
Pilgrim’s settlement comes after the majoritively JBS-owned company agreed to pay a $110.5 million fine in October under a plea deal with the US Department of Justice.
Neither company admitted liability and both said settling the claims was in their best interests.
In its official regulatory filing, Pilgrim’s said: “While Pilgrim’s does not admit any liability for the claims alleged in the Broiler Antitrust Civil Litigation, it believes a settlement was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.”
However neither settlement affects claims by ‘indirect’ purchases such as restaurant and supermarket operations including Chick-fil-A, one of the latest victims in the alleged scandal.
Reuters also highlighted that it does not affect claims against other defendants such as Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms.
Both settlements require approval by a federal judge in Chicago, says Reuters.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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