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US: Potato cartel case is nearing an end

 |  March 23, 2015

In a five-year long antitrust lawsuit in the potato industry, a federal judge ordered 105 more documents to be handed over to prosecutors.

Nearing the end of a two-year discovery dispute, US District Judge Candy Dale ruled on March 17 that of 111 documents split into seven subcategories, only five documents and one email are not protected from disclosure. Billions of dollars are at stake.

Dale said the five documents, in the possession of third-party Randon Wilson and his law firm, Jones Waldo, are communications that defendant United Potato Growers of America shared with its accountants and that there is no federal law that recognizes accountant-client privilege.

Associated Wholesale Grocers filed an antitrust lawsuit against United Potato Growers in 2010, claiming that the group acts as a potato “cartel” that controls 80 percent of the potato industry and uses physical and non-physical intimidation to compel independent growers to join.

The antitrust complaint claims the defendants conspired to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the prices paid for fresh and processed potatoes, and that the cartel acts in “classic cartel behavior.”


Full Content: Courthouse News Service


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