DOJ’s Agri Stats Lawsuit Widens: Two More States Join Allegations of Anticompetitive Practices

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The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) legal action against agricultural data company Agri Stats has seen additional states joining the lawsuit. Initially filed in September, the complaint alleges that Agri Stats orchestrated “anticompetitive information exchanges among broiler chicken, pork, and turkey processors.” The company is accused of collecting, integrating, and distributing “competitively sensitive information related to price, cost, and output among competing meat processors,” adversely affecting customers and retail outlets.

Recent developments in the case include California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee joining as plaintiffs earlier this month. Now, Texas and Utah have also been added as plaintiffs in an amended complaint.

In response, Agri Stats’ legal representatives have sought a change of jurisdiction. They requested the Minnesota federal judge to relocate the case to the Northern District of Indiana, where the company is incorporated, or to the Northern District of Illinois. This move echoes a historical context where Agri Stats faced similar charges in the In Re Chicken Broiler lawsuit, which were ultimately dismissed.

The legal proceedings underscore the gravity of the allegations against Agri Stats, with an expanding group of states actively participating in the case. The request for a change in venue adds a procedural layer to this complex legal battle.