Lisa Poole / AP
StarKist Co. has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing pleadings with two of its competitors in an attempt to keep the price of canned tuna high.
Federal Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday the agreement, which provides for a fine of up to $ 100 million, according to The Associated Press. In the same deal, a former StarKist manager and two former Bumble Bee Foods executives pleaded to have price-fixing agreements.
Starkists Please come to a government investigation of the tuna canning industry that has been running since at least 2015. StarKist and Bumble Bee, along with Chicken of the Sea, are accused of conspiring to set prices. Overall, brands control around 80 percent of the US canned tuna market.
Last year, Bumble Bee pleaded guilty to fixing US prices between 2011 and 2013 and paid a fine of $ 25 million. A week after Bumble Bee's request, Walmart alleged in a lawsuit that the company had been part of a plot with the two other tuna canning companies.
The AP reports that a former StarKist manager on Thursday's pricing found guilty two former Bumble Bee executives.
The former CEO of StarKist, Chris Lischewski, did not plead guilty.
Lischewski resigned in May after being charged with price fixing and up to 10 years in prison. In the indictment prosecutors alleged that Lischewski had "knowingly participated in and participated in the conspiracy" and held meetings and exchanged information about price data, sales, supply, demand and production with other unnamed co-conspirators.
Walmart's lawyers cited e-mail, industry conferences and phone calls in their case against business, according to The Washington Post.
"Despite changes in supply and demand that should have resulted in lower prices, [Walmart] prices for packaged tuna products continued to be higher," the complaint says.
Chicken of the Sea was not charged, but received conditional indulgence for supporting the Justice Department's investigation. The company was able to reach an agreement with Walmart, according to SeafoodSource.
The rest of Walmart's trial continues.