Why Chicken Producers Are Under Investigation for Price Fixing

Step aside, Big Tech. The federal government might have a new antitrust target in its sights — Big Chicken.

The Justice Department on Friday intervened in a class-action lawsuit that claims some of the biggest American poultry companies, including Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride, conspired to manipulate chicken prices. In a court filing, the Justice Department asked the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to halt the discovery process for six months as it pursues a criminal investigation.

Price-fixing claims against the chicken producers have been floating around for years, in suits like the one in Illinois, but the government’s involvement is a potentially significant escalation because it means criminal charges could follow.

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