Fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has sued top chicken suppliers alleging they artificially raised prices on billions of dollars of its purchases in the latest litigation facing the poultry industry.
The lawsuit filed on Friday names 17 defendants including Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms alleging they shared bids and pricing details, leading the Atlanta-based restaurant chain to overpay for supplies.
The suit alleges that after Chick-fil-A announced plans to serve antibiotic-free chicken at its restaurants, the suppliers ‘communicated via phone and text message in order to share and coordinate confidential bidding and pricing information.’
The claims are in addition to Chick-fil-A’s long-running suit alleging that the poultry industry uses a service called AgriStats to covertly share pricing data with competitors. AgriStats uses anonymous self-reported data from producers to provide a snapshot of the poultry industry, but the suit alleges that savvy users can decode the data to understand exactly what competitors are doing.