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Tyson Foods pays over $4 million to settle turkey price-fixing case

Tyson Foods Inc will pay $4.62 million to a group of direct purchasers to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of conspiring to fix prices for turkeys and turkey products.

31 May 2021, at 8:09am

The case was originally filed in Chicago’s federal court by “commercial and institutional indirect purchasers” of turkeys. The suit alleged that Tyson and other major poultry processors of price fixing by monitoring information on competitors’ prices through a news service. The service, Agri Stats Inc, has been cited in other anti-competition lawsuits.

According to reporting in Food Business News and Law360, Tyson will also provide “meaningful cooperation” and assist the direct purchasers in their claims against other US poultry processors like Butterball, Cargill, Foster Farms, Cooper Farms, Agri Stats Inc, Hormel Foods and Farbest Foods.

“Tyson’s cooperation includes providing DPPs [the direct purchasers] with (a) documents and data related to Tyson’s sales of turkey during the relevant time period, (b) documents from two mutually agreed-upon document custodians responsive to the parties’ agreed upon search terms, (c) direct communications between competitors relating turkey from two mutually agreed-upon document custodians, (d) any documents it produces to any other party in connection with this litigation, including any documents it produced to a state Attorney General or the US Department of Justice regarding an investigation into the turkey industry, and (e) any information or proffers given to any plaintiff in matters substantially similar to this one,” the court documents said.

“Given Tyson’s roughly 4-5% market share in the turkey market, this settlement represents a payment of approximately $1 million per market share point.”

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