Monday, July 07, 2003

Antitrust News: Blueberries

More proof of antitrust's wide reach:
An antitrust lawsuit alleging price-fixing among four Maine blueberry processors could go to court as soon as October.

The attorney for blueberry grower Nathan Pease of Union has put legal notices in the state's largest newspapers notifying Maine's 500-plus blueberry growers they have until July 23 to exclude themselves from the class-action lawsuit.

Attorney Bill Robitzek of Lewiston said he expects the lawsuit -- which was originally filed three years ago -- to go to trial in Knox County Superior Court in Rockland this fall, possibly in late October or November.

The lawsuit accuses the processors of conspiring to set low field prices for the state's blueberry crop from 1996 through 1999.

The processors in the lawsuit are Jasper Wyman and Son, Cherryfield Foods, Merrill Blueberry Farms and Allen's Blueberry Freezer. They have denied the allegations.
One wonders why the blueberry growers, if they felt they were being cheated, didn't attempt to boycott the processors. Perhaps the reason is they feared an antitrust lawsuit from the processors. Antitrust can sometimes work both ways.

No comments: