On Friday, the Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs (CIIPP) in In re Pork Antitrust Litigation filed a motion and supporting memorandum for approval of a settlement between the CIIPPs and defendant Smithfield Foods, Inc. with the District of Minnesota.
The memorandum states that In re Pork Antitrust Litigation represents the consolidation of separately filed putative class actions alleging that the United States’ largest pork suppliers conspired to artificially constrict the supply of pork products and fix pork prices. In this multidistrict litigation, the plaintiffs have been separated into different subclasses including the CIIPPs.
The plaintiffs allege that the defendants exchanged detailed, competitively sensitive and closely guarded non-public information about price, capacity, sales volume and demand through their co-conspirator, Agri Stats, from at least 2009. The plaintiffs argue this exchange of information allowed the defendants to control the supply and price of pork in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act causing the plaintiffs to pay artificially inflated prices for pork.