StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

  • StarKist has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing.
  • Federal prosecutors announced the plea agreement Thursday and said the company faces a fine up to $100 million.
Starkist Tuna products sit on a shelf in a Little Rock, Ark., food warehouse.
Danny Johnston | AP
Starkist Tuna products sit on a shelf in a Little Rock, Ark., food warehouse.

Authorities say StarKist has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing as part of a broad collusion investigation of the canned tuna industry.

Federal prosecutors announced the plea agreement Thursday and said the company faces a fine up to $100 million. Bumble Bee Foods last year pleaded guilty to the same charge and paid a $25 million fine.

Chicken of the Sea has not been charged because prosecutors say the company exposed the scheme and co-operated with the investigation.

Two former Bumble Bee executives and a former StarKist executive also each pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges.

Former Bumble Bee chief executive Christopher Lischewski has pleaded not guilty to a price fixing charge.

The three companies are accused of conspiring to keep canned tuna prices artificially high between 2010 and 2013.

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