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Tyson, Pilgrim’s Agree to Settle Some Chicken Price-Fixing Claims

Tyson, Pilgrim’s Agree to Settle Some Chicken Price-Fixing Claims

The two largest U.S. chicken producers said they have reached deals with a group of poultry buyers to settle price-fixing claims. Tyson Foods Inc., th

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The two largest U.S. chicken producers said they have reached deals with a group of poultry buyers to settle price-fixing claims.

Tyson Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. meat company by sales and the nation’s top chicken supplier, and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second-largest U.S. poultry processor by sales, separately said Monday they struck agreements to help resolve a four-year legal battle over alleged collusion in the $65 billion chicken industry.

Restaurant chains, supermarket operators and food distributors have accused Tyson, Pilgrim’s and other major chicken companies of coordinating production and pricing to boost prices for staples like chicken breasts, tenders and wings. Chicken suppliers in court have pushed back, pointing to economic factors they said drove poultry prices.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal price-fixing and bid-rigging charges against 10 poultry-industry executives, including two former chief executives of Pilgrim’s. The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Colorado-based Pilgrim’s said Monday that it had agreed to pay $75 million to settle civil claims brought by chicken buyers. Tyson didn’t disclose a settlement figure.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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