McDonald’s Files Lawsuit Against Pork Groups
The world’s largest fast-food chain is taking a stance against the pork industry with a lawsuit filed just after Thanksgiving.
McDonald’s is suing a group of pork industry producers claiming they “entered into a conspiracy from around 2008 or early 2009 through the present, to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of pork.”
The lawsuit was filed against Agri Stats, Clements Food Group, Hormel Food Group, JBS USA, Seaboard Foods, Smithfield Foods, Triumph Foods, Tyson Foods, Tyson Prepared Foods, and Tyson Fresh Meats. It alleges that the group artificially inflated the prices of pork during the period.
The fast-food chain uses pork in its breakfast sandwiches. Bacon, ham, and sausage were all used in its breakfast menu. McDonald’s also featured an all-day menu during a portion of the lawsuit’s timeframe.
According to lawsuit documents, Agri Stats provided “highly sensitive “benchmarking” reports to Defendants.” The lawsuit alleges that Agri Stat gathered “detailed financial and production data from each of the Defendants, standardizes this information, and produces customized reports and graphs for the co-conspirators.”
The lawsuit alleges that this all started back in 2008 when Agri Stats started to propose benchmarks to restrain the broiler industry. The lawsuit adds,
Benchmarking of the type undertaken by Agri Stats and its co-conspirators reduces strategic uncertainty in the market and changes the incentives for competitors to compete, thereby enabling companies to coordinate their market strategies and otherwise restrict competition.
McDonald’s is suing the group, alleging the pork groups are in violation of antitrust laws.