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Top Peanut Shellers Call Price-Fixing Suit a Fishing Expedition

Oct. 22, 2019, 6:50 PM

An Archer Daniels Midland Co. subsidiary and another top U.S. peanut sheller fired back at price-fixing claims in the Eastern District of Virginia, saying there’s no conspiracy, just a conspiracy theory.

The proposed antitrust class action targets Birdsong Corp. and ADM-owned Golden Peanut Co., which together control 90% of the shelling industry. It accuses them of conspiring to stabilize unprocessed peanut prices after weather-related volatility began making it difficult to manage risk and inventory. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by three peanut farmers.

The scheme allegedly involves doctoring inventory numbers...

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