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Another major US retail giant goes after tuna's 'Big Three' for price-fixing

SpartanNash has entered the price-fixing fray.

US food distributor and retailer SpartanNash has joined in the class action against the country's big three tuna producers for conspiracy to fix, stabilize, or maintain the prices of shelf-stable packaged tuna products.

The food giant launched a court case demanding trial by jury against Chicken of the Sea International, Bumble Bee Seafoods and Starkist alongside their Asian parent companies Tri-Union Seafoods, Thai Union Group and Dongwon Industries.

Like Kroger before it, SpartanNash is also pushing for Bumble Bee investor Lion Capital and its US entity Lion Americas to be included among the defendants.

"Lion Capital and Lion Americas were aware of the conspiracy, took acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, and knowingly accepted the proceeds of Bumble Bee’s unlawful conduct," said a heavily redacted public court document published Monday.

SpartanNash also chose to include Del Monte Corporation, StarKist's owner between December 2002 until October 2008, before it was sold to Dongwon.

In terms of revenue, Spartan Nash is the largest food distributor serving military commissaries and exchanges in the United States. It also distributes to independent grocers, and corporate-owned retail stores in 44 US states as well as in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. It operates 142 retail stores across America.

Catch up with IntraFish's full coverage of the tuna price-fixing scandal here.

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