JBS USA agrees to settle pork antitrust lawsuit

JBS USA has agreed to a $12.75 million settlement in a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs (CIIPPs), which alleged that JBS USA conspired with other major U.S. pork producers to raise the price of pork.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff group alleged JBS USA and co-defendants Clemens Food Group, Hormel Foods, Seaboard Foods, Smithfield Foods, Triumph Foods, Tyson Foods and Agri Stats violated federal and state antitrust laws by conspiring to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the price of pork.

According to a press release from the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, JBS USA and the affiliated Swift Pork Company will pay the $12.75 million to resolve all settlement class members claims against JBS. The company also agreed to provide specified cooperation in the CIIPP’s continued prosecution of the litigation.

While JBS has agreed to the settlement, the company maintains that it did nothing wrong, and the court never determined whether JBS violated any antitrust laws.

A hearing to accept the terms of the settlement has been scheduled for 10 a.m. November 3, 2021 at the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. The case is Pork Antitrust Litigation (Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchase Actions), Case No. 0:18-cv-01776.

According to the press release, the proposed settlement does not involve any of the other defendant companies.

JBS USA is a subsidiary of the Brazil-based JBS SA. In addition to overseeing the company’s pork and beef operations, JBS also includes related operations in Canada and in Australia. JBS USA’s footprint is poised to grow, pending the approval of the company’s proposed acquisition of Australian pork company Rivalea Holdings and Oxdale Dairy Enterprise, also of Australia.

JBS is also a majority stakeholder of the second largest poultry company in the United States, Pilgrim’s Pride. Pilgrim’s also has operations in Mexico and Europe.

Both JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride are headquartered in Greeley, Colorado.

Par Roy Graber (13/07/2021)

Roy Graber is a senior reporter at WATT Global Media.

Source : wattagnet.com

Photo : Pieter van der Wulp | Freeimages.com (tirée de l'article original)