Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc. will pay $221.5 million to settle class-action claims that it conspired with other chicken suppliers to illegally inflate prices for broiler chickens. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated Jan. 19 notes that the settlement payment, upon court approval, would be reflected in the company's first-quarter 2021 financial statement.
Individual litigants that were not part of the class-action claims—notably including retailers such as Target, Kroger and Walmart—are not part of the settlement agreement.
Tyson admits no liability as part of the settlement, which it said it believes are "in the best interests of the company and its shareholders in order to avoid the uncertainty, risk, expense and distraction of protracted litigation."
In addition to the grocery retailers that have sued Tyson, restaurant chain Chick-fil-A and convenience-store chain Wawa have alleged that Tyson and more than a dozen other chicken suppliers shared confidential bidding and pricing information and used that information to illegally drive up prices for broiler chickens.