Thursday, June 11, 2020

Tyson gets immunity in poultry price-fixing probe

In return for its cooperation Tyson Foods has gained immunity from prosecution in the Justice Department's investigation into whether major poultry processors illegally colluded to fix the price of broiler chickens. "Under a program run by the department’s antitrust division, a company can receive immunity if it’s the first member of a price-fixing cartel to inform federal prosecutors," Ryan McCrimmon reports for Politico's Morning Agriculture.

Four poultry executives from Pilgrim's Pride and Claxton Poultry Farms were indicted last week on charges that they fixed prices and rigged bids on broiler chickens sold to grocery chains and restaurants from 2012 to 2017. "All four individuals have pleaded not guilty, and the trial is set for August, McCrimmon reports.

The DOJ began investigating meat processors in recent weeks after farmers and ranchers complained that processors have been paying them extremely low prices for their livestock, even though meat prices (especially beef) surged for buyers, Leah Nylen and Liz Crampton report for Politico.

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