Lawsuit alleges Hormel, other companies inflated pork prices

Lawsuit alleges Hormel, other companies inflated pork prices

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal lawsuit filed in Minnesota alleges Hormel Foods Corp. and other companies colluded to inflate consumer pork prices.

The proposed class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday. Defendants included Hormel , based in Austin, Minnesota, and eight other companies, including Tyson Foods , JBS USA and Smithfield Foods .

The law firm bringing the case, Seattle-based Hagens Berman , contends the alleged price-fixing forced consumers to pay high prices for bacon, ham and other pork products.

The lawsuit alleges the companies coordinated their output and limited production "with the intent and expected result of increasing pork prices in the United States," and also exchanged "competitively sensitive" and "closely guarded non-public information" about prices, capacity, sales volume and demand.

Hormel said in a statement to the Star Tribune the company intends to "vigorously defend this lawsuit."

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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