SAN FRANCISCO – The popular tuna-canning company Bumble Bee Foods has agreed to pay a $25 million fine after pleading guilty to conspiring with competitors to fix prices.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that the San Diego based company will plead guilty to one felony count of price fixing.
The criminal charge reflects broader concerns about competition within the industry. Two Bumble Bee executives pleaded guilty to price fixing charges last year and have agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation.
Federal civil litigation in California has alleged price-fixing collusion by Bumble Bee and its competitors. And the Justice Department said last December that Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, a rival company, were abandoning a planned merger after the department raised concerns that the transaction would harm competition.