Tyson Foods announced that it has agreed to pay US$221.5 million to settle with plaintiff groups of poultry buyers that sued it for price-fixing claims, helping resolve a four-year legal battle over alleged collusion in the US$65 billion chicken industry, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Restaurant chains, supermarket operators, and food distributors have accused Tyson, the largest US meat company by sales and the nation’s top chicken supplier, and other major chicken companies of coordinating production and pricing to boost prices for staples such as chicken breasts, tenders, and wings. Chicken suppliers have pushed back in court, pointing to economic factors they claim drove poultry prices.
Tyson stated it reached the settlement with plaintiffs including direct purchasers, commercial and institutional indirect purchasers, and end-user consumers. It didn’t admit any liability as part of the settlements and stated the settlement is subject to court approval.
Tyson stated, “it believes that the settlements were in the best interests of the company and its shareholders in order to avoid the uncertainty, risk, expense and distraction of protracted litigation.”
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