Packaged Seafood Antitrust Litigation

Northern District of California

Class Period: January 1, 2003 – Present


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Robert N. Kaplan
Headshot: Gregory Arneson

Gregory K. Arenson

Kaplan Fox has to date filed seven complaints on behalf of Affiliated Foods, Inc., Associated Grocers of New England, Inc., North Central Distributors, LLC, Cash-Wa Distributing Co. of Kearney, Inc., URM Stores, Inc., Western Family Foods, Inc., Associated Food Stores, Inc., Giant Eagle, Inc., McLane Company, Inc., Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., and Associated Grocers, Inc. The  complaints allege manufacturers of packaged seafood, including  Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC, d/b/a Chicken of the Sea, King Oscar, Inc., Bumble Bee Foods, LLC f/k/a Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC, and StarKist Co. conspired and fixed the prices of packaged seafood sold to customers in the United States from at least as early as January 1, 2003 to the present in violation of antitrust laws.

Among other things, the complaints allege that packaged seafood manufacturers have participated in a cartel to fix the prices of packaged seafood sold to purchasers in the United States. The U.S Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Antitrust Division is conducting an investigation involving anti-competitive practices in the U.S. packaged seafood industry. The San Francisco office of the DOJ has convened a grand jury. Two of the three largest packaged seafood manufacturers, Thai Union (Chicken of the Sea) and Bumble Bee, have confirmed receipt of grand jury subpoenas. It is likely that the third company, Starkist, is in the DOJ’s leniency program, under which there needs to be a confession of guilt. Together, the three companies control more than 85% of the U.S. packaged seafood market.

If you wish to learn more about the litigation, please feel free to contact any of the Kaplan Fox attorneys listed above.


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