In a brief Monday order, a set of the claims brought against Tyson Foods in the sprawling In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation case were dismissed with prejudice. Claims brought directly by grocery chains Kroger and Associated Grocers of the South (AGS) have settled after nearly three years.
Kroger’s original complaint mirrors that of the action more broadly; they alleged that Tyson Foods and the other seventeen defendant companies conspired to keep pricing high. The conspiracy purportedly centers around defendant Agri Stats, an information sharing company that allows the industry to monitor their competitors in great detail and act accordingly. The grocers alleged that the company adopted other practices, including shifts in price contract structure, to take the most advantage of an already concentrated market.
The settlement comes after Tyson and others made separate settlements with “direct purchaser plaintiffs,” who are often food distributors that purchase the broiler chickens from the defendant meat companies.
With many other defendants, as well as other tranches of plaintiffs such as indirect purchasers, the litigation is sure to continue. Other recent news includes a vacatur of an earlier-issued bifurcation order, which would have split supply-reduction claims from bid-rigging claims.