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U.S. Probing Poultry Price-Fix Claims; Tyson, Pilgrim’s Fall (2)

June 25, 2019, 6:41 PMUpdated: June 25, 2019, 9:03 PM

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that chicken processors, including Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Sanderson Farms Inc., conspired to fix prices.

Prosecutors disclosed the grand jury probe in a court filing June 21 in Chicago, where civil lawsuits against more than a dozen companies in the industry are pending. Tyson, Pilgrim’s and Sanderson alone control almost half of the U.S. chicken market.

The investigation significantly escalates pressure on the poultry processors, which have been fighting price-fixing allegations by consumers, distributors, grocery chains and food companies, including Conagra Brands Inc. and Kraft Heinz ...