Smithfield Foods will pay $42 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the meatpacker of conspiring to fix pork prices. CBS News says lawyers began notifying companies like restaurants and caterers of the settlement. Smithfield previously settled with a different group of pork buyers for $83 million. Meatpacker JBS agreed to pay the restaurants and caterers an additional $12.75 million in the same pork lawsuit. Earlier this year, JBS had already agreed to pay $52.5 million to settle a similar price-fixing lawsuit over beef. Neither Smithfield nor JBS admitted to any wrongdoing as part of those settlements, and officials at Smithfield headquarters wouldn’t comment on the settlement. Other price-fixing lawsuits have also been filed against national chicken producers, with almost $200 million in settlements already approved in price-fixing cases to date. Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the country’s biggest chicken producers, was fined $107 million for price fixing in February 2021.
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