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Preisabsprachen

23. Februar 2011

Kartoffelpreise

Preisabsprachen: Klage in den USA eingereicht

In den USA wurde eine Klage gegen die United Potato Growers of America, die rund 80% aller Kartoffel-Pflanzer vertritt, eingereicht. Die UPGA hat demnach die Kartoffelpreise künstlich hochgehalten und unabhängige Pflanzer bedroht. Die Firma Bayer wird in der Klageschrift als „Co-Conspirator“ genannt und ebenfalls verklagt.

Bayer ist seit 2008 Sponsor der UPGA und hat dem Verband Informationen zu Landwirten zu Verfügung gestellt, die für das Kartell notwendig waren. Mehr Infos: http://bit.ly/ggm9Cs

February 22, 2011
Huge Potato Price Fixing Lawsuit Heats Up

Potato growers belonging to the nation’s largest cooperative are facing a massive lawsuit challenging the organization’s antitrust exemption, which has been in effect since the 1920s. A class action case brought by potato purchasers alleges the United Potato Growers of America (UPGA) has used bribery, threats and coercion against independent growers to convince them to join the cartel.

There is so much money involved in this case that a case management session convened by presiding U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill in December attracted 27 lawyers in person and another 15 on the phone. The complaint names 20 defendants, including well-known names such as General Mills and Dole. It also lists Bayer CropScience as a co-conspirator.

Once the case goes to trial, plaintiffs plan to argue that the UPGA, producer of 80% of the nation’s potatoes, should not be allowed to operate in this manner, which includes price fixing, because of the immunity it allegedly enjoys under the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922. Capper-Volstead exempted agricultural cooperatives from antitrust legislation—under certain circumstances.