StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine for collusion

StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony price fixing charge as part of a broad collusion investigation of the canned tuna industry, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

The DOJ said StarKist faces up to a $100 million fine when it is sentenced. Prosecutors allege that the industry’s top three companies conspired between 2010 and 2013 to keep prices artificially high.

“We have cooperated with the DOJ during the course of its investigation and accept responsibility,” said StarKist chief executive Andrew Choe. “We will continue to conduct our business with the utmost transparency and integrity.”

StarKist is owned by South Korean company Dongwon Industries, one of the largest tuna catching companies in the world. The parent company’s website carries pledges to abide by ethical standards and good corporate citizenship.

Starkist is owned by the South Korean company Dongwon Industries and is one of the largest tuna catching companies in the world. Upon being investigated by the Department of Justice, Starkist admitted to price fixing, further investigation on the industry is currently ongoing.

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