Friday, July 30, 2021

Feds lay more price-fixing charges

The United States government laid more charges of price-fixing in the chicken industry this week including Koch Foods and four executives for Pilgrim’s Pride.

These latest indictments bring to 14 the number of individuals alleged to have conspired in a nationwide scheme to suppress and eliminate competition for sales of broiler chicken products. Koch’s senior vice president, William Kantola, is among ten individuals indicted in October 2020.

On May 19, a grand jury returned an indictment against Claxton Poultry. Pilgrim’s pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2021 to pay a criminal fine of $107 million for its role in the conspiracy, which began as early as 2012 and lasted until at least 2019.

Pilgrim's Pride issued a statement to several media outlets, saying the company is aware of the indictments against former employees no longer affiliated with the company. Pilgrim's said it is cooperating with the DOJ in the invesigation, and is "committed to upholding high ethical standards in full compliance with U.S. antitrust laws."