Scrambling to Crack the Egg Cartel

Last month we told you about a striking case of alleged food industry collusion: The United Egg Producers, essentially an egg cartel, had manipulated domestic prices by systemically exporting eggs when prices dropped in the United States. Weirdly, the case wasn’t being investigated by the Justice Department, possibly because—even more weirdly—it might be legal under a long-ago agricultural act.

Now Business Week reports on a major new development. A small suit brought by the owner of a Buffalo restaurant has become “a sweeping lawsuit that recently gained class-action status on behalf of restaurants, grocers, and other direct buyers nationwide.” (And Business Week reports that the Justice Department is now investigating egg price collusion, too.)

“They’ve essentially admitted what we have said has been happening,” said an attorney who represents the plantiffs. “At this point it will come down to a legal question as to whether their activities were protected or not, and we think they were not.”

But don’t think that food prices—for eggs or anything else—might be dropping anytime soon: They’re not.

See more articles
Share this article: