Four states this week joined the Department of Justice’s civil antitrust lawsuit against Agri Stats. The suit alleges that Agri Stats organized and managed anticompetitive information exchanges among broiler chicken, pork and turkey processors.
The Attorneys General of Minnesota, California, North Carolina and Tennessee joined the effort Monday. The Justice Department filed the lawsuit in September of this year, alleging Agri Stats violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The complaint alleges that Agri Stats’ scheme continues to this day in the chicken processing industry, among others. While Agri Stats paused its turkey and pork reporting after facing several private antitrust lawsuits, Agri Stats has expressed an intent to resume such reports following the lawsuits.
A statement at the time of filing by Agri Stats says, “The lawsuit threatens serious harm to American consumers of chicken, pork, and turkey because protein producers depend upon Agri Stats’ reports to help them identify opportunities to reduce production costs to keep prices low.”