Processing Magazine

DOJ Sues to Block Sale of Tyson Foods Plant

May 11, 2011

The Associated Press reports that antitrust regulators have filed a lawsuit to block the sale of a Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Harrisonburg, Va., saying the deal could hurt competition for farmers in the area. In its civil lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice claims the sale would reduce the number of poultry processors around Harrisonburg, giving farmers little choice when it came time to sign contracts to grow chickens. Tyson announced the sale of plant March 18 to poultry producer George''s Inc. In a joint statement, the companies criticized the lawsuit without directly addressing whether the deal violates U.S. antitrust law. Both companies said the purchase will save jobs in the area, and keep contract farmers in business. Tyson and George''s, both based in Springdale, Ark., hire farmers under contract to grow the chickens that the companies own. If the sale goes through, farmers around Harrisonburg will have only two companies for which to grow chickens.