Pilgrim’s Pride announced Jan. 11 that it has entered into an agreement to settle poultry price-fixing allegations in a lawsuit filed by poultry purchasers.
Under the settlement, Pilgrim’s has agreed to pay $75 million, which it said will be reflected in the company’s fourth quarter 2020 financial statements.
The agreement is subject to court approval and does not settle claims made by plaintiffs outside of the direct purchasers.
“While Pilgrim’s does not admit any liability for the claims alleged in the Broiler Antitrust Civil Litigation, it believes a settlement was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” a company spokeperson stated.
In October, Pilgrim’s entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division for its alleged role in the price-fixing investigation.
In the plea agreement, Pilgrim’s and DOJ agreed to a fine of approximately $110.5 million for restraint of competition. The company said the agreement does not recommend a monitor, any restitution or probationary period and stated that DOJ will bring no further charges against Pilgrim’s, provided that the company complies with the terms and provisions of the agreement.
“Pilgrim’s is committed to fair and honest competition in compliance with U.S. antitrust laws,” Pilgrim’s chief executive officer Fabio Sandri said at the time. “We are encouraged that today’s agreement concludes the Antitrust Division’s investigation into Pilgrim’s, providing certainty regarding this matter to our team members, suppliers, customers and shareholders.”