Attorney Generals from around the country request investigation into possible price-fixing in beef industry

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and several other AGs from around the country are requesting a full investigation into possible price-fixing by meatpackers in the cattle industry.

In a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, AG Reyes stated he is concerned with market manipulation by the four largest meatpacking companies who control more than 80% of the beef processing in the United States, noting prices for consumers have reached record levels in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but cattle prices remain low and are decreasing.

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“Especially now, we need to encourage fair competition in the meat packing industry and protect consumers,” said Attorney General Reyes.  “We intend to ask the DOJ to conduct a vigorous investigation into the meatpacking industry with an eye on what kinds of competitive practices occur.”

RELATED: Some grocery stores limit meat purchases during COVID-19 related shortage

AG Reyes says the high pricing margins would indicate meatpackers are trying to control the market and take advantage of the situation which may violate the federal antitrust law.

Attorney General Reyes and multiple Attorney Generals from around the country believe the situation warrants a “full federal investigation because the alleged anticompetitive conduct harms consumers and cattle ranchers across the United States.”

Read the letter here.

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