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Judge OKs $75 Million Settlement In Pork Antitrust Case

 |  April 13, 2023

On Tuesday, a US judge gave approval to a settlement of $75 million between Smithfield Foods Inc and a group of consumers. The consumers had accused the pork producer of conspiring to limit supply to maintain artificially high prices.

US District Judge John Tunheim approved the resolution, stating that it was fair, reasonable, and adequate.

“The settlement class members’ positive reaction supports final approval,” Tunheim wrote. The judge said that out of millions of potential class members only “three have opted out, and none have objected.”

Read more: (Lack of) Competition, Coordination, and Information Sharing in the Pork Industry: United States, 2009-2020

There have been ongoing legal disputes regarding inflated prices in the pork market, resulting in recent orders. Similar antitrust cases have also been filed in the meat industry regarding beef, turkey, and chicken prices.

Smithfield reached settlements of $83 million and $42 million with direct purchasers, including Maplevale Farms Inc and John Gross & Company Inc, and restaurant and commercial purchasers, respectively. In a separate case, pork consumers settled with Smithfield’s competitor JBS SA for $20 million in 2020.