Pilgrim’s Pride to pay $110.5 million for price fixing chickens
Chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has agreed to pay $110.5 million in a plea agreement over price fixing.
The major US food company Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has announced it has entered into a plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in respect of its investigation into sales of broiler chicken products in the United States.
In the plea agreement, which is subject to the approval of the United States District Court of Colorado, Pilgrim’s and the Antitrust Division agreed that the food company will pay a fine of $110,524,140 for restraint of competition that affected three contracts for the sale of chicken products to one customer in the United States.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors accused the company of coordinating with other parties to suppress competition and inflate prices in the US chicken market between 2012 and early 2019.
The plea agreement does not recommend a monitor, any restitution or probationary period, and provides that the Antitrust Division will bring no further charges against Pilgrim’s regarding this matter, provided the company complies with the terms and provisions of the agreement.
Pilgrim’s expects to record the fine as a miscellaneous expense in its financial statements in the third quarter of 2020.
In the company’s press statement, Fabio Sandri, Prilgrim’s CEO, said: “Pilgrim’s is committed to fair and honest competition in compliance with US antitrust laws. We are encouraged that today’s agreement concludes the Antitrust Division’s investigation into Pilgrim’s, providing certainty regarding this matter to our team members, suppliers, customers and shareholders.”