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Attorney General Josh Stein joins United States’s antitrust lawsuit against Agri Stats

For Immediate Release:
Monday, November 6, 2023

Contact:
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today joined the United States’ civil antitrust lawsuit against Agri Stats, Inc. for working with chicken, pork, and turkey processors to artificially inflate the price of food. The lawsuit alleges that Agri Stats violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by engaging in anticompetitive conduct to raise costs for American consumers.

“With people struggling to afford their groceries, it’s unacceptable that Agri Stats would inflate the price of chicken, pork, and turkey through its alleged anticompetitive and unlawful acts,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I will always stand up for consumers and do everything I can to lower costs for them. That’s why I am taking Agri Stats to court.”

The lawsuit alleges that Agri Stats has for years produced comprehensive weekly and monthly reports for participating meat processors. The reports contain sensitive, non-public information about sales prices, costs, compensation, and output. The processors then used their competitors’ data to set prices and output levels. Participating processors have accounted for more than 90 percent of broiler chicken sales, 80 percent of pork sales, and 90 percent of turkey sales in the United States.

Agri States allegedly knew that meat processors would use this illegal information exchange to raise prices, restrict the supply of meat, and boost the industry’s collective profits, all at the expense of consumers.

Attorney General Stein is joining the U.S. DOJ’s lawsuit along with the Attorneys General of Minnesota, California, and Tennessee.

A copy of the complaint is available here.

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