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53 Antitrust Bull. 455 (2008)
Buyer Power Litigation in Agriculture: Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.

handle is hein.journals/antibull53 and id is 477 raw text is: THE ANTITRUST BULLETIN: Vol. 53, No. 2/Summer 2008 : 455

Buyer power litigation in agriculture:
Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.
BY C. ROBERT TAYLOR*
I. INTRODUCTION
Disproportionate buyer power has been of concern to farmers and
ranchers throughout much of the history of American agriculture. An
historic political and legal battle over buyer power began in the late
1800s over cattlemen's allegations that the major meat packers
(processors) were colluding to fix price and divide up the market for
slaughter cattle. Decades of public outcry, political action, presidential
debate, and government investigations followed.
In 1888, the Senate authorized an investigation' into buying prac-
tices of the meatpackers, finding that the major packers were engag-
ing in various anticompetitive practices, including price fixing and
agreements not to compete.2 In 1902, the U.S. Department of Justice
(DOJ) filed charges of conspiracy and restraint of trade against the big
* Alfa Eminent Scholar of Agricultural Policy, Auburn University.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Constructive comments by Jack Kirkwood and Greg Gundlach are
gratefully acknowledged. Jennifer Vandermeuse and Mary Ann Polewski provided
invaluable assistance with legal citations.
I See 61 CONG. REC. 2614 (1921) for a discussion of the intent of the
investigation.
2 See Stafford v. Wallace, 258 U.S. 495 at 399-400 (1922).
© 2008 by Federal Legal Publications, Inc.

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