Tyson Foods, the top chicken producer in the U.S, is cooperating in a Justice Department price-fixing investigation. Tyson is doing so under a leniency program that will allow the company to avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for aiding in the continuing probe of other poultry producers.
The Wall Street Journal says after receiving a grand-jury subpoena in April of last year, the company approached the Justice Department and disclosed its own actions while seeking leniency.
Last week, the government indicted the CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride and three other poultry executives because of allegations of bid-rigging of broiler chickens sold to grocery chains and restaurants.
“The behavior set out in the indictment does not reflect the values of Tyson Foods,” says CEO Noel White. “I am proud to lead a company that took appropriate and immediate actions in reporting the wrongdoing we discovered to the Department of Justice.”
It was April of 2019 when the Department of Justice subpoenaed major chicken firms including Tyson, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, and Perdue Farms. The investigation followed a private antitrust suit brought in 2016 by chicken buyers seeking damages from major producers who allegedly conspired to raise prices.