Sysco Suit Charges Beef Processors with Price-Fixing

July 11, 2022
Sysco, the largest American foodservice distributor, has joined the chorus of trade customers accusing the nation’s major beef suppliers of price-fixing.

Sysco, the largest American foodservice distributor, has joined the chorus of trade customers accusing the nation’s major beef suppliers of price-fixing.

Sysco has filed a federal lawsuit in Texas against Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS and National Beef. The suit accuses the four companies, which among them control some 80% of the U.S. beef processing market, of using their market share to jack prices up for trade customers and consumers, while paying artificially low prices to cattle raisers.

The defendant companies “exploited their market power in this highly concentrated market by conspiring to limit the supply, and fix the prices, of beef sold,” according to the complaint.

Similar lawsuits are pending against the major beef companies from a lawsuit filed in 2020 by other trade customers, as well as consumers and ranchers. Other proteins have been the subject of civil suits and criminal charges; three current and former chicken company executives were acquitted last week of criminal charges related to fixing poultry prices.

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