Investigation of Tyson Foods

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Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) Accused of Conspiring to Fix Prices

In January 2008, the leaders of the broiler producing industry began colluding to fix the price of broilers, or chickens raised for meat consumption, by each agreeing to limit their broiler supply.  By the end of 2008, at least eleven companies in the broiler producing industry, including Tyson, collectively cut 10% to 12% of overall production in unison, successfully manipulating the market to artificially raise broiler prices and hitting near all-time price highs until late 2009. In 2011, Tyson was instrumental in facilitating unprecedented production cuts, limiting its own production and pressuring competitors to do the same. Then, on November 3, 2016, The New York Times published an article entitled “You Might Be Paying Too Much for Your Chicken,” exposing that unlike other chicken pricing indexes, the Georgia Dock index price, which is heavily weighted by price reports from Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride, had drifted significantly higher than the other indexes in 2015 and 2016. As a result, a purchaser of broilers from the broiler producers filed an antitrust class action, where the court found that the broiler producers’ “parallel conduct was a product of conspiracy” and that the broiler producers’ “business strategies between the relevant time period…are indicative of a conspiracy.” Since then, several additional antitrust actions have been filed against Tyson and other broiler producers, potentially damaging Tyson and its shareholders.

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