Chick-fil-A and Target each filed a suit against companies involved in producing chickens to be used as meat, known as broiler chickens, on Friday, joining hundreds of other suits alleging anticompettive activity in the chicken industry. Target and Chick-fil-A are adding their names to other grocers, restaurants, and individuals, who purchased chicken in the last few years from processing companies that reportedly used the Stats and other means to exchange data and participate in price-fixing and inflation.
Chick-fil-A stated in its Northern District of Illinois complaint that “broiler chicken is the central ingredient in many of the proprietary products,” and that it has contracted with some of the defendants to receive broiler chicken with specifications for its products, providing preparation and packaging processes and recipes.
The company said it purchased “billions of dollars worth of broiler chicken” from the defendants since 2014 and purported that the defendants have participated in conduct that had anticompetitive effects, specifically sharing bidding and pricing information, which led to the restaurant paying artificially inflated prices for the chicken. Chick-fil-A said it was joining in part of the Direct Action Plaintiffs’ Consolidated Complaint in the larger antitrust suit, specifically Section II.
Target’s complaint, which was filed in the same court, was only two pages. The company said it joins in Section II of the Direct Action Plaintiffs’ Consolidated Complaint as well. Target listed aspects of the Sherman Act as its causes of action.
Chick-fil-A’s complaint, along with the one filed by Target, listed similar defendants to other chicken antitrust complaints including Agri Stats, Inc.; Foster Farms, Sanderson Farms, Tyson Foods, and Perdue Farms. Both plaintiffs are seeking damages, including treble damages, attorney’s fees, interest, and other expenses.