OMAHA, Neb. — Meatpacking giant JBS has agreed to a $52.5 million settlement in a beef price-fixing lawsuit that some say supports their concerns about how the lack of competition in the industry affects prices.
Colorado-based JBS didn’t admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and company spokeswoman Nikki Richardson said JBS will continue to defend itself against other plaintiffs in the case, but she said JBS decided the settlement was “in the best interest of the company.”
A federal judge reviewed the settlement at a hearing Thursday and will rule later whether to approve it. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Dan Gustafson, said the deal could serve as an “icebreaker” in the case that could lead to additional settlements in the case that also involves Tyson Foods, Cargill and National Beef. Those three companies, along with JBS, control more than 80% of the U.S. beef market.
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