Walmart presents further tuna brand price fixing allegations
2017-05-17 17:52:21   copyfrom:    hits:

Chicken of the Sea canned tuna at a supermarket (Photo: Stock File)UNITED STATESTuesday, May 16, 2017,22:50 (GMT

Chicken of the Sea canned tuna at a supermarket. (Photo: Stock File)

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 22:50 (GMT + 9)


The United States Government and major global retailers have updated allegations that the most popular tuna brands in the country conspire regularly to keep prices high for consumers.

For over two years the FBI and the US Court of Justice have carried out an investigation into packaged seafood aimed at protecting consumers who deserve competitive prices. In this context, Walmart and other top retailers filed civil lawsuits.

A typical can of tuna today costs about USD 1.50 and the US Department of Justice says that price may be the result of price fixing by Thai, South Korean and US seafood dealers, while major retailers are suing alleging they’ve been ripped off, Associated Press reported.

According to criminal and civil court records, the brands that have been investigated are Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee and StarKist.

The Department of Justice has been investigating the allegations against the three companies,which together supply about 80 per cent of the USD 1.7 billion of canned tuna sold annually in the United States, according to the court records.

Court records revealed that the litigation describes regular telephone calls and meetings where “executives agreed that all three companies would collective raise prices” and that they also agreed to “limit promotions and packaged tuna that undercut their published pricing.”

Some of the firms mentioned in the court records are Thai Union, owner of Chicken of the Sea, Red Lobster and US Pet Nutrition; Dongwon Enterprises; and BumbleBee, whose representatives last week in the criminal case in San Francisco said it would plead guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to fix the prices of canned and pouched tuna, and pay a USD 25 million fine. The announcement came after two Bumble Bee executives, senior vice-presidents Ken Worsham and Walter Scott Cameron, also pleaded guilty. They agreed to cooperate with authorities in the ongoing investigation, and face jail time and fines.

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