Four Biggest Meatpackers Received Subpoenas In Antitrust Probe

The Justice Department is formally demanding information from the country’s four biggest meatpackers over potential antitrust violations, according to a person familiar with the matter, deepening scrutiny of an industry that’s been riled by shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

According to Bloomberg department’s antitrust division sent civil investigative demands, which are akin to subpoenas, to the companies and is talking with state attorneys general about the probe after a group of states called for an investigation, said the person, who declined to be named because the inquiry is confidential.

Meatpacking is highly consolidated with four companies — Tyson Foods Inc., JBS SA, Cargill Inc. and National Beef Inc. — controlling more than 80% of the U.S. beef processing market. Their dominance has sparked longstanding concerns about their pricing power over livestock suppliers.