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A Tyson Foods plant in Lexington, Neb. Photo: Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The state of Washington is suing 19 chicken producers, accusing them of "a wide-ranging illegal conspiracy to inflate and manipulate prices, rig contract bids and coordinate industry supply reductions," Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The companies named in the suit account for some 95% of broiler chickens sold in the U.S., per a news release. Broiler chickens are bred and raised specifically for meat production.

  • Companies named in the suit include giants like Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms and Koch Foods.

Details: The lawsuit accuses the companies of coordinating together and reducing production in 2008 and 2009, the suit claims. They eventually produced more chicken in 2010, but agreed to reduce production again in 2011 after prices dropped.

  • The actions led to "significant production cuts and higher prices," the news release states.

What they're saying: “This conspiracy cost middle-class and low-income Washington families more money to put food on their table," Ferguson said. "I will hold these companies accountable for the profits they illegally made off the backs of hardworking Washington families."

  • Representatives for Tyson Foods and Koch Foods did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
  • A spokesperson for Perdue Farms declined to comment citing the pending litigation.

Go deeper

U.S. to release 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserve

Biden speaking from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 22. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden directed the Department of Energy on Tuesday to release 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower fuel prices.

Why it matters: It's the Biden administration's most direct effort yet to tamp down on high gasoline prices that have become a political headache for the White House amid wider inflation.

Updated 12 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 14 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.