DOJ Alleges It Uncovered A ‘Nationwide Conspiracy’ Of Poultry Farms Playing Chicken With Prices

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Gabrielle Temaat Contributor
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Claxton Poultry Farms and other conspirators were charged with allegedly conspiring to fix prices on broiler chicken products, according to The Department of Justice.

From 2012 to 2019, Claxton and ten other conspirators, including President Mikell Fries and Vice President Scott Brady, allegedly suppressed competitors selling broiler chicken products, according to The DOJ.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a Colorado-based broiler chicken producer, pleaded guilty to being involved in the conspiracy. The corporation faces a $107 million fine, according to The DOJ.

“As this charge shows, we will not hesitate to prosecute crimes designed to put money in corporate coffers and line executives’ pockets at the expense of everyday Americans, including the hundreds of millions of us who rely on chicken to be an affordable staple food,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers, according to The DOJ. (RELATED: Sen. Hawley Unveils ‘Trust-Busting’ Initiative Against Big Tech)

Claxton was charged for allegedly violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, which outlaws monopolistic behavior. The company faces a maximum fine of $100 million if convicted.

“Today’s announcement is yet another example of the ongoing work of the FBI and its partners to root out corrupt individuals and companies who collude to inflate prices and attempt to eliminate fair markets,” said Assistant Director Steven M. D’Antuono from the FBI Washington Field Office, according to The DOJ.

“This anti-competitive behavior will not be tolerated, and the FBI will work to hold people and companies accountable for their criminal actions so the American people and business owners do not pay unnecessarily high costs for necessary food.”

The DOJ uncovered the conspiracy as a result of a continuous antitrust investigation of price fixing and other suppressive practices in the broiler chicken industry, The DOJ reported.