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Big Four Packers Hit with Another Suit

The four largest meatpackers were hit by a new price-fixing lawsuit from a group of small food distributors. The suit was filed on October 9 in the U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois, accusing the Packers of fixing prices for years.

The plaintiffs say the price-fixing dates back to at least January 1, 2015, and includes Cargill, JBS, Tyson Foods, and National Beef Packing Company. The distributors say the Big Four “exploited their market power in this highly concentrated market by conspiring to limit the supply of beef sold to purchasers in the U.S. wholesale market, which resulted in higher prices paid by the plaintiffs.” They also claim the alleged scheme caused financial harm at least through the end of 2021.

“As a result, the plaintiffs paid higher prices for beef than they otherwise would have paid in a competitive market,” the lawsuit says while seeking relief under the Sherman Act.

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