Chicken Companies Face Lawsuits for Controlling Market Prices

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Chick-fil-A and Target are suing poultry processors because of alleged collusion to manipulate chicken prices. The two companies filed separate lawsuits against more than a dozen chicken sellers, including Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride. According to the lawsuit filed by Chick-fil-A, the prices of the chicken the company bought were strategically inflated. The restaurant chain claimed that some of the chicken companies shared confidential price and bidding information, which drove the product’s price up. Target and Chick-fil-A both mentioned in their complaints that they joined an ongoing 2016 class suit that has similar allegations against the chicken sellers. The two companies are asking for unspecified damages caused by the alleged price fixing. Price fixing has been an issue among poultry producers over the years. In June 2020, executives of Pilgrim’s Pride were accused of illegally manipulating the prices of their chicken that was sold to grocery stores and restaurants. In response to the recent allegations, Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms released similar statements denying the accusations and claiming that they are unfounded. In contrast, Pilgrim’s Pride agreed to pay $75 million to settle the price-fixing issue. According to Target spokesperson Jenna Reck, the company filed a lawsuit to hold the chicken processors accountable for their unfair practices and to protect retailers from harmful price fixing in the future. She said Target expects its vendors and partners to be honest with their business transactions so they can continue to give customers low prices.

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