Investigation of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC) Accused of Conspiring to Fix Prices

In September 2016, Pilgrim’s and other broiler industry leaders were accused in a class action lawsuit of violating federal antitrust laws by systematically colluding to fix chicken prices between 2008 and 2016. Broiler industry leaders were aware that price is largely influenced by supply, and since most of the Broiler industry was vertically integrated, the companies had complete autonomy over the supply of Broilers, and therefore the capacity to control price. With this knowledge, Pilgrim’s and other Broiler companies closed down processing plants to limit production and exchanged detailed information through the data service, Agri Stats. Agri Stats’ company-specific information allowed Pilgrim’s and other industry leaders to constantly monitor almost every aspect of one another’s business and ensure that no company was “cheating” on their agreement to limit production. As a result, industry leaders kept their supplies low and maintained their high prices. The lawsuit could result in substantial damages to Pilgrim’s Pride causing depletion of its financial resources and further harm to shareholders.

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