by Dave Albin
Thank goodness the US Justice Department has again saved food consumers from…well, it’s kind of hard to say. This time, the target is chicken producers, but I wrote about similar events several years ago with the dairy industry.
The latest developments involve a $110 million settlement and indictments of executives, such as chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride on allegations of price fixing, a violation of antitrust laws. The usual impassioned arguments related to saving the hapless consumer are trotted out, but as with the dairy case, even minimal examination of the details behind the scenes leaves little or nothing to be desired with the whole process.
Let’s start with price fixing—the idea that several firms in the same industry worked together to control supply of a product for their mutual benefit.