Chick-fil-A is ruffling some feathers.
The fast-food chain alleged in a new lawsuit that top chicken suppliers conspired to inflate prices on billions of dollars worth of its poultry purchases.
The federal suit, filed Friday in Illinois, claims that when Chick-fil-A committed to buying antibiotic-free chicken in 2014, the suppliers colluded “to share and coordinate confidential bidding and pricing information.”
As a result of the alleged price-fixing, the Atlanta-based sandwich giant paid “artificially inflated prices for chicken,” the court documents state.
The suit names 17 alleged bad eggs as defendants, including Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods Inc, Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms Inc.
It’s just the latest in a flock of litigation the poultry industry faces.
Ten industry executives were indicted this year in separate cases by the Department of Justice, and several suppliers have been sued for allegedly conspiring to inflate the prices of broiler chickens.
In October, Pilgrim’s Pride pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to limit competition in chicken product sales and paid a $110.5 million fine.
“We believe these claims are unfounded and plan to contest the merits,” said spokeswoman for Perdue Andrea Staub.
Representatives for Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Chick-fil-A is seeking unspecified damages and cash to cover its legal expenses.
With Post wires