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Tuna Price-Fixing Plaintiffs Win Certification of Three Classes

July 31, 2019, 3:40 PM

Antitrust litigation accusing Bumble Bee Foods LLC, Chicken of the Sea, and Starkist Co. of conspiring to inflate canned tuna prices will move forward as three certified, consolidated class actions.

Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California granted certification July 30 to separate classes of “direct purchasers” that resold the allegedly overpriced tuna, “commercial food preparers” that bought it indirectly, and “end payers” such as consumers. A fourth “track,” which wasn’t at issue in the ruling, involves individual claims brought by retailers that intend to opt out of the direct purchaser class.

Sammartino cited the economic models ...