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Tyson says SEC is investigating chicken-pricing allegations | Chicago Tribune

Accusations of collusion that have dogged the American chicken industry in recent months took a new turn after Tyson Foods, the country’s largest producer, said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the allegations and sent it a subpoena.

The company said Monday in a filing that based upon the limited information it has, Tyson believes the investigation is related to the allegations contained in antitrust litigation involving broiler chickens. The Springdale, Arkansas-based company and its largest competitors have been named as defendants in a series of lawsuits in recent months that claim the industry colluded starting in 2008 to drive prices higher, allegations denied by Tyson and the other producers.

Tyson said in the filing it’s cooperating with the investigation, which is at an early stage. Chief Executive Officer Tom Hayes, speaking on a conference call with reporters, declined to comment further except to say the company wants to defend itself in court.

Shares of Tyson fell as much as 5 percent in New York while rival producers Sanderson Farms Inc. and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. also declined. Poultry producers’ shares have fallen due to the scrutiny of industry pricing practices and the SEC’s subpoena, Zain Akbari, a Chicago-based analyst for Morningstar Investment Services LLC, said in a report.

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Tyson says SEC is investigating chicken-pricing allegations – Chicago Tribune.

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