Tyson Foods put a good face today on its involvement in a federal Justice Department anti-trust probe of the broiler industry.

Its news release is the breaking news today from national outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg .


Tyson Foods issued the following statement today regarding the June 2, 2020, indictment by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) charging multiple executives of other companies in the broiler chicken industry with conspiring to restrain trade.

“Tyson Foods is committed to competing vigorously, honestly and in compliance with the letter and the spirit of the antitrust laws and respects the important role that the Department of Justice plays in enforcing these laws. On April 26, 2019, Tyson was served with a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ concerning a criminal antitrust investigation into the broiler chicken industry. Tyson uncovered information in connection with that investigation, which we immediately self-reported to the DOJ.

Tyson took appropriate actions to address the internal issues and has been fully cooperating with the DOJ as part of its application for leniency under the DOJ’s Corporate Leniency Program. A formal grant of leniency will mean that neither the company nor any of its employees will face criminal fines, jail time or prosecution. Our swift and decisive actions demonstrate our steadfast commitment to treating suppliers, customers and partners with integrity and to fostering a free and fair competitive environment that not only benefits consumers but makes Tyson Foods better.”

So it appears Tyson was implicated, it talked and now hopes for leniency for its “swift and decisive action.” Someday, we may learn what “internal issues” Tyson “addressed” and how.

Talk of price-fixing in the chicken business had been floating for some time but got serious last year when the Justice Department intervened in a class-action lawsuit over manipulation of chicken prices by major producers.


Charges eventually did follow. June 2, the Justice Department named current and former executives of Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Poultry in a price-fixing indictment.

I’m reminded of another Springdale resident, former Rep. Micah Neal, who ran to the federal courthouse to talk about a kickback and bribery scheme involving public money and Arkansas legislators. He was rewarded with a brief stint in home detention for his cooperation and is now free. Another legislator from Springdale, former Sen. Jon Woods, has a federal prison release date of May 10, 2034. He is still appealing his conviction.


Cooperation beats incarceration.