It appears that America’s largest retail grocer Walmart, is going to court after filing suit against multiple U.S. poultry companies alleging collusion to inflate poultry prices in violation of antitrust laws. The claim Walmart asserts is that the poultry companies engaged in price fixing and trade restraint from 2008 to 2016.
The 98-page complaint filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas alleges the companies made illegal agreements affecting the U.S. chicken industry through two specific means. “The first focused on coordinating their output and reducing the supply of broiler chickens into the market. The second focused on (among other things) manipulating price indices with respect to wholesale chicken prices.”
A total of 30 companies are named in the lawsuit, including California’s Foster Farms. Other defendants named in the case include House of Raeford Farms, Koch Foods, Claxton Poultry Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride. There have been multiple lawsuits filed since 2016 which allege price-fixing by various companies involved in poultry production.