Department of Justice launches antitrust investigation into “Big Four” meatpackers

Cattle ranchers have long complained the Big Four meatpackers, which slaughter and process more than 80 percent of beef in the U.S., have far too much power in their industry. Their cries have been heard. Bloomberg reports that the Department of Justice antitrust division has subpoenaed Tyson, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef, after a bipartisan group of state attorneys general wrote to Attorney General William Barr last month, with concerns that the companies may be conspiring to squeeze cattle ranchers during the coronavirus pandemic. The price of beef has been going up, and the price of cattle keeps going down. That isn’t the way supply and demand is supposed to work.