Minnesota court allows beef antitrust suit to move foward
On Sept. 14, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota denied a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit against Tyson, Cargill, National Beef and JBS over the companies’ alleged manipulation of beef prices.
R-CALF is one of the plaintiffs in the suit and announced the ruling in a Sept. 14 press release.
The class action suit, originally filed in June 2020 by Central Grocers Inc. and Strack and Van Til Super Market Inc., accuses the meat packers of “conspiring to constrain beef supplies in the United States,” and as a result causing artificial inflation of domestic prices paid by entities purchasing beef directly from the packers.
According to the suit, the packers sold more than 80% of the 2.5 million pounds of beef supplied to the U.S. beef market. The plaintiffs claimed the packers used a scheme to limit the supply of beef entering the domestic supply chain, resulting in artificially high domestic beef prices.
The plaintiffs assert that these actions violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.
In ruling on the motion to dismiss, Judge John R. Tunheim found that the plaintiffs’s accusations are plausible. As a result of the ruling, the case can proceed to the discovery phase, in which parties to the case gather information in preparation for trial.