Pilgrim’s Pride To Pay $110.5 Mln To Settle DOJ Probe Into Price Fixing

(RTTNews) – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (PPC) said in a regulatory filing that it has entered into a plea agreement with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in respect to its investigation into the sales of broiler chicken products in the U.S.

In the plea agreement, Pilgrim’s Pride and the Antitrust Division agreed to a fine of $110.52 million for restraint of competition that affected three contracts for the sale of chicken products to a customer in the U.S. The plea agreement is subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court of Colorado.

Pilgrim’s Pride noted that the agreement does not recommend a monitor, any restitution or probationary period. The agreement also provides that the Antitrust Division will not bring any further charges against Pilgrim Pride’s in this matter, provided the company complies with the terms and provisions of the agreement.

Pilgrim’s Pride expects to record the fine as a miscellaneous expense in its financial statements in the third quarter of 2020.

“Pilgrim’s is committed to fair and honest competition in compliance with U.S. antitrust laws. 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,” said Fabio Sandri, Pilgrim’s Pride CEO.

In June, four current and former senior executives from two major broiler chicken producers, including Pilgrim’s Pride CEO Jayson Penn, were indicted for price fixing.

According to the indictment, the Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton executives conspired to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chickens across the U.S, from 2012 until at least early 2017.

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