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Lawsuit charges poultry price-fixing, asks restitution

Nineteen poultry processors, including industry leader Tyson Foods, are accused of conspiring to fix chicken prices in a lawsuit filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The lawsuit is the latest against processors and asks for restitution for Washington consumers that could potentially run into the millions of dollars.

“If you’ve eaten chicken in the past decade, this conspiracy touched your wallet,” said Ferguson. “This conspiracy cost middle-class and low-income Washington families more money to put food on their table.”

The lawsuit, filed in state court in Seattle, accuses the companies of manipulating prices for broiler chickens since at least 2008 in violation of state antitrust and consumer protection laws. The lawsuit also charges Agri Stats, a price-reporting company, with presenting company data in a way that made it easy for the processors to share information about prices, production plans, profitability and costs.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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