During the past few years, prices have increased almost universally across the board. There are some companies that are taking advantage of the situation, and it appears that Tyson Foods might be one of them. Tyson Foods is a name that is synonymous with chicken, but according to an announcement from the Attorney General’s office of the State of Washington, Tyson Foods is going to pay approximately $10.5 million to resolve a lawsuit brought against them with allegations of price-fixing. In addition to the lawsuit against Tyson Foods, there are approximately 16 remaining companies embroiled in price-fixing lawsuits.
According to information released by the Attorney General’s office, it is estimated that approximately 90 percent of people in the state of Washington have been impacted. That includes approximately seven million people, covering nearly everyone who consumes chicken products.
Tyson Foods is the largest manufacturer of chicken in the United States. It is responsible for approximately 20 percent of all broiler chickens in the country. In the lawsuit, the state of Washington alleged that Tyson Foods, along with 18 other chicken producers, has significantly increased the price of chicken since 2008. As a result, consumers have been forced to overpay by millions of dollars. A lawsuit further alleges that there has been a widespread conspiracy to rig contracts, manipulate prices, and coordinate to decrease supply to maximize profits on behalf of the companies.
As a result of the settlement, Tyson Foods will further cooperate with the attorney general to turn over information that could be relevant in other cases. Furthermore, the company is required to provide internal training and certify that it has policies in place to ensure it does not violate antitrust laws again. That way, it can never again fix prices to harm consumers in the state of Washington.
Thus far, the state of Washington has recovered more than $11.7 million from a total of three companies that have resolved claims. This number is likely to go higher, as there are sixteen other companies that continue to litigate claims of price fixing. It remains to be seen how the funds recovered in the lawsuit will be distributed to people across the state.