The United States Department of Justice has joined the class-action price-fixing lawsuit against the biggest chicken processing companies.
That, say observers, raises the possibility of criminal charges. The agency’s motion asks that the court impose a six-month stay of depositions and non-evidentiary written discovery of the defendants and their current employees to protect a grand jury investigation.
The federal lawyers wrote the court to say “the government has a significant interest in ensuring the integrity of the Feds join chicken price-fixing lawsuit grand jury’s investigation and, if charges are filed, minimizing the extent to which discovery can be used to circumvent criminal discovery.”
Maplevale Farms, a distribution company in New York State, was the first to complain in 2015 about an alleged price-fixing conspiracy carried out by the nation’s 14 largest chicken companies with help from market intelligence firm Agri Stats Inc.
It seems a lot like A.C. Nielsen which routinely collects retail prices from Canadian supermarket chains, compiles the data and reports back to them. Just to be clear, I'm not alleging any price-fixing here.