Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The Departments of Justice is investigating allegations that the meatpacking industry is fixing or manipulating prices, a person familiar with the investigation told Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The investigation follows a surge in meat prices after outbreaks in a number of processing plants led to closures in more than a dozen states. But processors have been paying farmers and ranchers extremely low prices for their cattle, according to Politico, which first reported on the investigation.

  • The DOJ will probe the so-called "big four" meat producers who together make up about 85% of the U.S. market Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Cargill.
  • The Department of Agriculture is also reviewing meat price fluctuations, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Politico.

The big picture: The industry has long been a target of antitrust scrutiny. But the coronavirus crisis is "highlighting how the American system of getting meat to the table favors a handful of giant companies despite a century of government efforts to decentralize it," Politico writes.

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Amy Harder, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."