Tyson Foods resolves more disputes over chicken pricing

(Reuters) – Tyson Foods Inc has agreed to settle consumer pricing disputes that accused it of illegal conspiracy to inflate prices in the $ 65 billion chicken industry.

The deal with so-called “end-user” consumers was disclosed Tuesday in a filing with the federal court in Chicago.

It’s been eight days after Tyson agreed to settle related antitrust claims from buyers who bought chickens directly from the Springdale, Arkansas company.

Terms were not disclosed. Neither agreement affects similar claims from restaurant and supermarket operators such as Chick-fil-A, Kroger Co, and Walmart Inc.

Tyson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp, primarily owned by Brazil’s JBS SA, agreed on January 11 to pay $ 75 million to settle claims from direct chicken buyers.

Agreements require court approval.

Restaurants, supermarkets, food distributors and consumers have accused chicken producers of conspiring to inflate chicken prices since 2008, through tactics such as limiting production and sharing non-public data on supply and demand.

Perdue Farms Inc and Sanderson Farms Inc are among other defendants in the litigation that began in 2016. Some smaller producers have resolved their claims.

Last year, the US Department of Justice filed criminal charges in Denver for pricing and fraud against 10 poultry industry executives. All pleaded not guilty.

The case is In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 16-08637.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy