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Anatomy of a Price-Fix


On February 19, 1982, the three largest retail food chains in the Cleveland area were fined $4.2 million by a federal court for criminal price-fixing, after entering pleas of no contest to the charges against them. Four supermarket executives were given three-year suspended sentences and fined $200,000 each for their participation in the price conspiracy. In related civil actions, the federal court accepted a $20-million coupon repayment plan from the local food stores, payable to the approximately one million households that the retailers serve. This is the largest consumer settlement in U.S. history.

On February 19, 1982, the three largest retail food chains in the Cleveland area were fined $4.2 million by a federal court for criminal price-fixing, after entering pleas of no contest to the charges against them. Four supermarket executives were given three-year suspended sentences and fined $200,000 each for their participation in the price conspiracy. In related civil actions, the federal court accepted a $20-million coupon repayment plan from the local food stores, payable to the approximately one million households that the retailers serve. This is the largest consumer settlement in U.S. history.


Suggested citation: Bryan, Michael F., 1982. “Anatomy of a Price-Fix,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 07.12.1982.

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