CHARLOTTE, NC. — Another antitrust lawsuit with allegations against major US beef companies was filed at the end of October in the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
Compass Group USA Inc., a large catering and foodservice outlet, filed its complaint against Cargill, JBS S.A., Swift Beef Co., National Beef Packing Co. and Tyson Foods Inc., alleging that the companies limited the supply of meat and fixed prices in the beef market.
The complaint states that high concentration in the wholesale beef industry played a part in controlling pricing.
“Their vital role is to purchase cattle from the nation’s farmers and ranchers, slaughter and pack cattle into beef, and sell beef to purchasers like (Compass),” the complaint said. “Operating defendants’ gatekeeping role has enabled them to collusively control upstream and downstream beef pricing throughout the conspiracy period.”
Compass also pointed to the ongoing investigation of the meatpackers by the US Department of Justice, which started in 2020.
This latest lawsuit comes after a group of small food distributors also filed a lawsuit in October against the largest beef companies for similar allegations earlier.
During another lawsuit in August, a Minnesota District Court judge dismissed a multidistrict price-fixing lawsuit involving the beef companies.