(Reuters) – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp and Tyson Food items Inc explained on Monday they have settled cost-repairing litigation by a team of poultry customers that accused them of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to inflate chicken charges.
Pilgrim’s Delight, owned mostly by Brazil’s JBS SA, will shell out $75 million to settle claims by purchasers that bought chickens right from the company. The size of Tyson’s settlement with the similar purchasers was not disclosed.
Neither corporation admitted liability, and equally reported settling was in their greatest passions.
Both equally settlements call for acceptance by a federal choose in Chicago.
Neither affects promises by “indirect” purchasers, which include things like cafe and grocery store operators this kind of as Chick-fil-A, Kroger Co and Goal Inc as very well as standard people.
They also do not influence statements against other defendants, this sort of as Sanderson Farms Inc and Perdue Farms Inc.
Pilgrim’s settlement is the major in extra than 4 several years of litigation by places to eat, supermarkets and meals distributors above alleged rate-fixing in the $65 billion hen business right here.
A handful of lesser rooster producers formerly arrived at very similar settlements totaling $13 million.
Comparable litigation has been pending in Minneapolis federal courtroom accusing Tyson, one more JBS device and other pork producers of conspiring to inflate pork costs by restricting source.
The Pilgrim’s settlement follows that company’s agreement in Oct to pay out a $110.5 million fantastic to solve a U.S. Department of Justice prison cost-fixing probe.
Final yr, the Justice Division also submitted legal price tag-fixing and bid-rigging costs here in Denver from 10 poultry market executives. All have pleaded not guilty.
The case is In re Broiler Hen Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Courtroom, Northern District of Illinois, No. 16-08637.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York editing by Richard Pullin