Tyson Foods has reached a settlement in principle of antitrust claims over its alleged role in an industrywide scheme to inflate the price of turkey, according to a notice filed Wednesday in a federal court in Chicago.
“The parties are working to finalize and document all the terms of that agreement,” the restaurants and retailers leading the case say. They’ll seek its approval “in the near future,” according to the filing, which doesn’t disclose any settlement terms.
Tyson’s proposed deal with the “commercial and institutional indirect purchasers” is the first by any of the poultry processors facing these price-fixing suits. Butterball, Kraft Heinz Food, Tyson and other top agribusinesses were hit with an antitrust lawsuit in Chicago federal court claiming they used lessons learned from an alleged chicken price-fixing conspiracy to prop up the cost of turkey.
The suit also targets Agri Stats Inc., which runs a “secretive” industry pricing database. The poultry producers used it to exchange “detailed financial and production data” with one another, which let them “easily identify” which turkey products they were selling for less than their competitors, according to the Dec. 19 complaint.
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