Sanderson Farms, Inc.
Sanderson Farms Antitrust Class Action Survives Motion to Dismiss
On November 20, 2017, an Illinois federal judge ruled that Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NasdaqGS: SAFM) must face most claims in a major antitrust lawsuit filed against the company by food distributor Maplevale Farms, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint alleges that Sanderson Farms and several other companies have conspired since 2008 to manipulate the prices of broiler chickens by coordinating and limiting production and exchanging detailed information about prices, capacity, and sales volume in violation of the Sherman Act. The complaint also accuses the companies of colluding to keep the price of broiler chickens artificially high by exporting hatching eggs to Mexico and other foreign countries to reduce the supply of broiler chickens in the U.S. Sanderson Farms’ unlawful conspiracy has subjected the company to significant liability under the antitrust laws.