McDonald’s this week filed a lawsuit against pork packing companies alleging price fixing. The lawsuit names Agri Stats, Clements Food Group, Hormel Foods, JBS USA, Seaboard Foods, Smithfield Foods, Triumph Foods and Tyson foods as defendants in the case. Legal documents show McDonald’s claims the defendants and their coconspirators collectively control over 80 percent of the wholesale pork market.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants entered into a conspiracy from around 2008 or early 2009 through the present to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of pork. McDonald's claims defendants implemented their conspiracy by agreeing with their competitors to restrict output and limit production. The lawsuit says that the data compiled by Agri Stats is a classic enforcement and implementation mechanism of a price-fixing scheme.
Because of the alleged price fixing, McDonald's claims it paid inflated prices for pork during the time frame outlined in the lawsuit, adding, Thus, plaintiff suffered injury and damages due to defendants’ anticompetitive conduct."