Five Major Norwegian Salmon Companies Agree to $85 Million Settlement in Antitrust Case
Preti Flaherty announced today that a Miami federal Court has granted preliminary approval to an $85 million settlement agreement in an antitrust case involving alleged price fixing of farmed salmon sold in the United States. Preti Flaherty represents members of a class of more than 800 direct U.S. seafood buyers who claim that Mowi, SalMar, Lerøy Seafood, Grieg Seafood, and Cermaq Group—five of the largest producers and sellers of Atlantic salmon in Norway—have been engaged in a conspiracy since at least mid-2015 to exchange competitively sensitive information and artificially control the price of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of salmon in direct violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
The initial lawsuit was filed in April 2019 in the wake of an ongoing investigations by the European Commission. Later, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a parallel investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in the European farmed Atlantic salmon industry impacting the United States. In June 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida appointed Preti Flaherty to the Executive Committee of plaintiffs counsel in the case. Preti Flaherty teamed with other firms to consolidate separate civil suits by direct-purchaser plaintiffs into a single class action. On order of Chief Judge Cecilia Altonaga, plaintiffs and defendants entered mediation and arrived at a settlement that “provides the settlement class with ample relief but also comes at a relatively early stage in the litigation, which is particularly significant in an antitrust case because such cases often last for years," according to the purchasers. "This resolution thus spares the settlement class both litigation risks and substantial litigation costs, preserving more funds for the settlement class."
- “Salmon Buyers Hook $85M Price-Fixing Deal,” Law360
- “Norwegian Salmon Groups Reach Settlement in U.S. Antitrust Case,” Bloomberg Law
- “Norwegian Salmon Producers Settle US Antitrust Suit,” Competition Policy International
- “Plaintiffs, Norway salmon farmers propose $85m settlement to end US price fixing lawsuit,” Undercurrent News
- “Salmon farming giants agree to massive settlement in price-fixing lawsuit,” IntraFish
- “Norwegian salmon firms come to settlement in US civil antitrust litigation,” SeafoodSource