Chick-fil-A and Target sue chicken processors over alleged price fixing

Dec 8, 2020, 6:59 AM
French fries and a fried chicken sandwich are arranged for a photograph during an event ahead of th...
French fries and a fried chicken sandwich are arranged for a photograph during an event ahead of the grand opening for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Chick-fil-A, the Southern chicken-sandwich chain that has drawn both controversy and copycats over the years, has finally arrived in New York. The company will open a 5,000-square-foot (465-square-meter), three-level restaurant in Manhattan's Garment District that will be the chain's largest location in the nation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    (CNN) — Chick-fil-A and Target are accusing meat processors of fixing prices for the chicken they buy.

The two chains filed separate lawsuits in court on Friday. Each suit names over a dozen chicken sellers. A number of them, including Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride, appear in both cases.

Chick-fil-A said in its lawsuit that after a 2014 commitment to serve antibiotics-free chicken, meat processors colluded on prices to bid for the new business.

Chick-fil-A paid “artificially inflated prices for chicken” because of the alleged illegal price fixing, the company said in its complaint. The lawsuit says that Chick-fil-A has joined a 2016 class action suit also alleging price fixing among chicken processors. It is asking the court for an unspecified amount in damages as part of that judgment, among other things.

Target’s suit didn’t go into much detail, but also stated that Target has joined the 2016 class action and seeks unspecified damages.

Allegations of price-fixing have been plaguing the chicken industry for some time.

In June, executives, including Pilgrim Pride’s then-CEO, were indicted for allegedly conspiring to fix prices and rig bids on “broiler chickens,” which are sold to grocery stores and restaurants.

Tyson wasn’t named in that indictment, but the company said at the time that it was served with a grand jury subpoena from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in April of last year.

With regard to Friday’s lawsuits, a Tyson spokesperson said that “follow-on complaints like these are common in antitrust litigation,” adding that such complaints don’t alter Tyson’s position that price-fixing claims are “unfounded,” and that “we will continue to vigorously defend our company.”

Perdue issued a similar statement with regards to both lawsuits, saying “we believe these claims are unfounded and plan to contest the merits.”

Pilgrim’s Pride did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chicken is big business in the United States. The chicken sandwich has fueled sales at restaurants in recent years. America’s taste for chicken has helped Chick-fil-A’s incredible growth over the years.

–CNN’s Clare Duffy contributed to this report.

™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Image of the fatal crash in San Juan County (Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety)...
Chandler Holt

San Juan county crash leaves one dead, one injured

Police responded to reports of a crash on SR-162 near Montezuma Creek at around 5 p.m. on Saturday. One of the vehicles crossed the center line of the highway, causing the head-on collision.
1 day ago
President Joe Biden. He will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia in July....
Donald Judd, CNN

Biden signs bipartisan gun safety bill into law: ‘God willing, it’s going to save a lot of lives’

President Joe Biden on Saturday signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation passed in decades, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in Washington.
2 days ago
Protesters hold signs and chant at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 24, 2022, as ...
Martha Harris

Utah’s trigger law will ban most abortions

Some health and legal experts in Utah are struggling to determine what exceptions to an abortion ban in the state actually mean.
3 days ago
From left, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of C...
ALAN FRAM Associated Press

Congress sends landmark gun violence compromise to Biden

The bill that passed the House on Friday is a compromise that illustrates progress on the issue and the deep-seated divide that persists.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022, after the Supre...

Biden calls abortion ruling ‘a sad day’ for country

He said the court has done what it's never done before in taking away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans.
3 days ago
downtown slc general conference temple square...
Simone Seikaly

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reacts to Roe v. Wade

SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded to the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Their statement began by reasserting a belief in the sanctity of human life. It also listed possible exceptions for members who may seek an abortion, which include […]
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Chick-fil-A and Target sue chicken processors over alleged price fixing