Executives of the most popular tuna brands in the US — Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee and StarKist — conspired regularly to keep prices high for consumers with a taste for one of America’s favorite sandwich ingredients, according to criminal and civil court records updated this week.
A typical can of tuna today costs about $1.50 and the US Department of Justice says that price may be the result of price fixing by Thai, South Korean and US seafood dealers, while major retailers are suing alleging they’ve been ripped off.
The US government began investigating criminal price fixing between the three companies more than two years ago.
Together the companies supply about 80 percent of the $1.7 billion of canned tuna sold annually in the United States, according to the court records.
However, Wal-Mart and other top retailers filed civil lawsuits.
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