Tyson Foods, Chicken Producers Face More Claims on Price Fixing

(Bloomberg) -- Supervalu Inc. and other supermarket and restaurant chains alleged that chicken producers conspired to limit supplies and inflate prices, adding to antitrust lawsuits against companies including Tyson Foods Inc. and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

Closely held grocery chains Publix Super Markets Inc., Wakfern Food Corp., Associated Grocers of the South Inc. and Meijer Inc., along with OSI Restaurant Partners LLC, sued the poultry producers Tuesday in federal court in Chicago. The complaint cites chicken purchases from 2008 to 2016.

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. supermarket chain, filed a suit dated June 29 with Albertsons Cos. and Hy-Vee Inc. dated June 29 in Chicago making similar claims against chicken producers.

Kroger Adds to Price-Fixing Claims Against U.S. Chicken Industry

“We are disappointed by the recent case filed by our customers,” Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said Tuesday in an email. “The lawsuits are unfounded, and we are determined to defend against these baseless claims.”

Pilgrim’s Pride could not be reached immediately for comment by telephone or email.

Tyson’s shares rose 0.6 percent Tuesday to $66.83. Pilgrim’s Pride climbed 0.5 percent to $19.60. Supervalu advanced 0.9 percent to $21.32.

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