It is going to be kind of an earthquake to some extent. In the United States, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is investigating the four meat majors. In fact, as reported by Bloomberg, the antitrust division of the bureau has sent “notice of civil investigation”, quite close to arraignment, to Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Cargill. In doing so, the Department of Justice has accepted the investigation request submitted by a group of States. They suspect the four giants, which together account for 80% of the overall livestock and farming industry, have constituted a cartel to lower prices they have to pay for live cattle and, at the same time, to increase selling prices for customers.
The four meat majors
While speaking to Bloomberg, National Beef illustrated that “such request has a very limited extent. We therefore assume that the Department is not really going to believe in a competition limiting issue”. As summarized by the same news media, the investigation scenario is about the United States dealing with Coronavirus emergency. Such is the context, in other words: on the one hand, the meat industry has been striving hard to control infection outbreak in their manufacturing plants; on the other hand, the final market has been dealing with another issue, that is, provision. For the records, the Department of Justice has already conducted a similar inquiry, with criminal implications though, into two companies playing in the poultry meat industry.