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Big Law

StarKist to pay $100M fine in tuna price-fixing

A federal judge in San Francisco ordered StarKist to pay a $100 million fine in a canned tuna price-fixing conspiracy involving the industry’s top three companies. The Pittsburgh-based company was also sentenced to 13 months of probation.

The tuna giant had asked U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen to reduce the fine to $50 million, arguing that a $100 million penalty could bankrupt it because it still faces millions more in potential civil damages. But Chen said the court found the company has the assets, the ability to borrow money to pay the fine and legal recourse to ask for an extended payment schedule if it runs into financial trouble.

StarKist Co. last year agreed to plead guilty to a felony price fixing charge as part of a broad collusion that included Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea.

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