El Segundo, California-based Chicken of the Sea International (COSI) has reached an agreement with 29 food distribution and retail outlets associated with an industry-wide price fixing scandal that was brought to light more than three years ago. COSI served as the initial Department of Justice whistleblower in the antitrust case.
COSI, along with firms such as StarKist and Bumble Bee reportedly conspired to raise and maintain prices for packaged seafood products from 2008-2015. The DOJ has already leveled a $100M fine against StarKist. Under the agreement terms, COSI will pay a cash settlement and work with the companies in the promotion of Chicken of the Sea products.
"The settlement is a significant achievement for COSI and our revamped management team," Christianna Reed, COSI's vice president and general counsel, stated. "We are also hopeful it will encourage any remaining litigants to put posturing aside and work with us to find pragmatic solutions that reflect the industry's challenging market realities.
"It is also an unfortunate reality that litigants who continue to pursue aggressive, unrealistic negotiation tactics are putting an iconic American Seafood brand and American jobs at risk." The Settlement Agreement with COSI includes Affiliated Foods, Dollar Tree, Greenbrier International, Family Dollar, Fareway Stores, Kmart Corporation, Woodman's Food Market and others.