The multidistrict litigation currently pending before the Court consists of three direct purchaser actions involving an alleged conspiracy among American pork producers to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of pork in the United States. Also pending before the Court is a consolidated action—consisting of thirteen separately filed putative direct and indirect purchaser class actions and two individual actions—involving the same alleged conspiracy. In all the actions, plaintiffs allege that the pork producer defendants exchanged detailed, competitively sensitive, and non-public information about prices, capacity, sales volume, and demand through defendant Agri Stats—a specialized information-sharing service that provided benchmarking reports to the pork producers, which allegedly allowed them to monitor each other’s production and thereby control pork supply and price in violation of antitrust law.
The defendants are: Agri Stats, Inc.; Clemens Food Group, LLC; The Clemens Family Corporation; Hormel Foods Corporation; Hormel Foods, LLC; JBS USA Food Company; Seaboard Foods LLC; Smithfield Foods, Inc.; Triumph Foods, LLC; Tyson Foods, Inc.; Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc.; and Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.
On June 9, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined that centralizing the pork antitrust cases was appropriate, as they involve common questions of fact. Additionally, the Panel determined that the District of Minnesota was the appropriate forum and, because the Court has overseen the consolidated Minnesota litigation since 2018 and decided two rounds of dismissal motions, it was the logical choice to oversee pretrial proceedings for MDL No. 2998, now renamed In re Pork Antitrust Litigation.
 Only two of the transferred actions list Hormel Foods, LLC as a defendant; one does not. In the consolidated action before the Court, Hormel Foods, LLC was dismissed without prejudice except with respect to the consumer indirect purchaser plaintiffs’ complaint.