US POULTRY EXECS CHARGED FOR PRICE FIXING
A federal grand jury in Colorado has charged four executives from two US poultry companies with conspiracy for chicken price-fixing, a recent British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) report said.
The leaders of the Pilgrim's Pride and Claxton Poultry companies were indicted on Wednesday, June 3, for a years-long plot to rig bids and raise prices to the detriment of restaurants and retail outlets from at least 2012 to 2017.
The chiefs face up to 10 years in prison and a $1m (£798,0000) fine if they cannot crow their way out of the mess. The case stems from a Justice department antitrust investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the poultry industry.
Pilgrim's CEO Jayson Penn and former vice-president Roger Austin, along with Claxton president Mikell Fries and vice-president Scott Brady are now the first to be charged in the agency's price fixing investigation. The Colorado-based Pilgrim's Pride is one of the largest chicken producers in the US, taking in more than 17% of the American consumer poultry market. Also under investigation and seeking leniency from prosecutors is Tyson Foods.