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Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Settle Poultry Price-Fixing Suit

 |  April 11, 2023

The lawsuit filed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson against 19 chicken producers resulted in the recovery of $35 million so far due to price-fixing. Fourteen of the producers have paid to resolve the claims against them. Ferguson’s office is currently developing a plan to distribute the recovered funds to assist Washingtonians affected by the issue.

The lawsuit was filed by Ferguson in King County Superior Court in October 2021. A trial is set for October 2024 against the co-conspirators who remain.

The conspiracy had a widespread impact on the population, affecting an estimated 90 percent of Washingtonians, or around seven million people. The use of broiler chickens in various food products, from grocery store chicken breasts to fast food chicken nuggets and sandwiches, meant that almost everyone who consumes chicken was impacted by the scheme.

Read more: Pilgrim’s Pride Execs Escape Antitrust Suit

“If you bought chicken in the last several years, you paid more for that chicken than you should have because of the illegal conduct from these companies,” Ferguson said. “This is yet another milestone in our case against the companies involved in this conspiracy — but we are not done. They drove up the price of chicken and cheated hardworking Washingtonians. Antitrust laws protect consumers when company executives conspire to rig the system. I will hold all of the conspirators accountable.”

The Attorney General’s Office asserts all 19 chicken producers drove up the price of chicken since at least 2008, causing consumers to overpay by millions of dollars. The lawsuit asserts a widespread illegal conspiracy to inflate and manipulate prices, rig contract bids, illegally exchange information and coordinate industry supply reductions to maximize profits.