Bumble Bee Senior VP Of Sales To Plead Guilty In Tuna Price-Fixing Scheme

Image courtesy of TheGiantVermin

“Far-reaching price-fixing conspiracy” and “canned tuna” are not concepts that you might normally connect with each other. It turns out, though, that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a multi-year investigation into price-fixing and other wrongdoing in the packaged seafood industry, which is a real thing that is happening.

Sure, it’s not the most glamorous crime to investigate, but when multiple seafood companies collude to keep prices low, that affects all of us in the form of higher prices for tuna at the supermarket. The DOJ is looking into anticompetitive practices all over the packaged seafood industry.

Today, the DOJ announced that a senior vice president of sales at Bumble Bee has agreed to plead guilty to colluding with other fish companies to keep tuna prices artificially high.

In a statement with the announcement, Renata Hesse, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said that “All consumers deserve competitive prices for these important kitchen staples, and companies and executives who cheat those consumers will be held criminally accountable.”

This is only the first guilty plea to come out of this investigation: expect to see others. Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee were pursuing a merger last year, which fell apart due to concerns from the Department of Justice about competition in the seafood market if the companies merged.

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