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News & Press: Montana News

Fox among 11 AGs calling for meatpacking probe

Thursday, May 7, 2020  
Posted by: Joe Menden
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Attorneys general from 11 states including Montana have written to the U.S. Justice Department urging an investigation into market concentration and potential price fixing by meatpackers in the cattle industry during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The letter dated May 5 to U.S. Attorney General William Barr stated that the concentrated market structure of the beef industry makes it particularly susceptible to market manipulation, particularly during times of food insecurity, such as the current COVID-19 crisis.

The request noted that antitrust concerns in the cattle market are not new. They wrote that competition issues existed long before the pandemic and will continue in the future as four beef processors control 80 percent of U.S. beef processing.
The group, including attorney generals from North Dakota, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, said as “fellow antitrust enforcers” they are “eager to work with” the DOJ “on a careful examination of the competitive dynamics of this industry.”