Tastes Like a $221 Million Chicken Price-Fixing Lawsuit Settlement for Tyson

Tyson Foods Inc said it will pay $221.5 million to settle litigation by three groups of plaintiffs that accused it of illegally conspiring to inflate chicken prices. According to news sources, the settlements with so-called “end-user” consumers, commercial purchasers, and purchasers that bought chickens directly from Tyson require approval by a federal judge in Chicago.

Tyson did not admit liability in agreeing to settle, and said the payments will be reflected in its first-quarter financial statements. Also, the Springdale, Arkansas-based company still faces price-fixing claims by some large restaurant chains, supermarket operators and food distributors such as Chick-fil-A, Kroger Co, Walmart Inc and Sysco Corp.

Sources report that restaurants, supermarkets, distributors and consumers accused chicken producers of having conspired since 2008 to inflate chicken prices, through tactics such as restricting production and sharing nonpublic data about supply and demand.

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