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Walmart, Albertsons, Kroger file new complaints in tuna antitrust lawsuit

Amended complaints are against Bumble Bee, StarKist, Chicken of the Sea and their parent companies. More national retailers join

Last week dozens of plaintiffs filed amended complaints in the ongoing antitrust lawsuits cases against the biggest US tuna producers for allegedly conspiring to fix canned tuna prices, which violates the Sherman Act as well as various state consumer protection laws.

The deadline to file amended complaints last week coincided with the Department of Justice (DOJ)'s announcement of Bumble Bee Foods' agreement to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of shelf-stable tuna fish, such as canned and pouch tuna, sold in the United States.

These plaintiffs include individuals and major retailers, such as Wal-Mart Sam's Club, Hy-Vee, Albertsons, The Kroger Co., H.E. Butt Grocery, Wegmans Food Markets, Winn-Dixie Stores and more.

Defendants listed in the amended complaints include Bumble Bee Foods LLC, StarKist Company, Dongwon Industries Co. Ltd., Del Monte Corporation, Tri-Union Seafoods LLC d/b/a Chicken of the Sea International, Inc. and Thai Union Group PCL.

Also, more companies joined the legal fight - US retailer SuperValu Inc. and Super Store Industries, which operates retailer Save Mart Supermarkets, individually filed lawsuits last week on Monday against the defendants with the same allegations.

The new and amended complaints allege the defendants were “conspiring to increase prices of canned tuna … coordinating price increase announcements or pricing terms, secretly and collusively exchanging pricing information and prospective pricing announcements and business plans, and collectively reducing quantity and restraining output” from at least 2004 through July 2015.

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