StarKist agreed to commit guilty on Thursday to a felony charge of pricing for its role in a broad conspiracy to rig the price of canned and ready to eat tuna, the Justice Department said.
The company faces a fine of up to $ 100 million to force buyers to pay inflated prices from at least November 2011 to December 2013, the Ministry of Justice said.
The amount will be determined at a negotiation by the United States District Court in San Francisco, which must also accept the terms of the StarKist agreement. StarKist, a US subsidiary of Dongwon Industries in South Korea, has also agreed to collaborate with the federal investigation launched in 201
“The conspiracy to fix prices for these household clams had direct effects on US consumer literature,” Sade Makan Delrahim , an assistant lawyer-general in the judicial department antitrust division. “We continue to keep companies and individuals responsible for the consumers”.
Other legal cases followed by grocery stores, restaurants, suppliers and dealers, including Walmart, Target and Kroger.
In July 2015, Thai Union Frozen Products revealed that it had been convicted by the Justice Department. The proposed merger was terminated.
Last year, Bumble Bee Foods claimed to be guilty of the same felony fee as StarKist did on Thursday and paid a fine of $ 25 million. It was less than the Ministry of Justice had asked for, but prosecutors said they would not demand a fine as high as putting Bumble Bee out of business.