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Tyson-fires
Photo by Andrea Gantz
on August 25, 2017

Tyson Foods cleared by SEC in collusion investigation

Largest poultry company in the United States said it received a letter from the SEC that stated no enforcement action will be taken against it

Tyson Foods has received a letter from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to notify the company it has been found of no wrongdoing amid an investigation of price-fixing collusion allegations.

According to a press release from Tyson Foods, the company received a letter from the SEC that was dated August 22. The letter stated that the SEC staff concluded its investigation, and based on the information it had, did not intend to recommend any enforcement action against Tyson Foods.

Tyson Foods, the largest broiler company in the United States, was accused of participating in a price-fixing-scheme with other poultry companies. The suit alleged that the companies killed chickens and destroyed eggs to limit production and raise the price of chicken sold in the United States.

Other companies named in the lawsuit include Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, Simmons Foods, Koch Foods, JCG Foods, Wayne Farms, Mountaire Farms, Peco Foods, Foster Farms, House of Raeford Farms, Fieldale Farms, George’s Inc. and O.K. Foods.

Upon learning of the lawsuit, which was filed by the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Tyson immediately disputed the allegations. “We’re not surprised by the lawsuit, since it’s common for law firms to file copycat cases in antitrust matters. We dispute the claims made in these complaints and will defend ourselves in court,” the company stated.

Pilgrim’s, at the time the suit was filed, also said the allegations lacked merit and that it welcomed the opportunity to defend itself against those claims.

To date, no other poultry companies have stated that they have received letters from the SEC concerning being cleared of any wrongdoing. However, Fieldale Farms in early August offered to pay $2.25 million to settle in the lawsuit. While it did offer to settle, Fieldale did not admit that it was guilty of colluding with other U.S. broiler companies.

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