Recently, South Korea's seafood trading giant-Dongyuan group and its US branch, Starkist, were involved in a class action lawsuit. A stone stirred up a thousand waves, along with the United States Big Heart Pet Food Company (Big Heart Pet Brands), taiwansheng group (Thai Union) and its U.S. branch joint seafood (Tri-Union Seafoods), bumblebee Food Company (Bumble Bee) all became defendants, and the reason for the lawsuit was to maliciously manipulate the market price of tuna products.
South Korea's Dongyuan's products on China's e-commerce platforms are mainly canned tuna.
On August 29, Moran Foods and Dollar General Corporation, an American retailer, appealed to the U.S. Court respectively, claiming that South Korea's toyuan group and its U.S. branch Starkist suspected of manipulating commodity prices. On the next 30 days, Krasdale Foods also appealed to the court, requesting to find out the market manipulation behavior of Dongyuan group and its branches.
Looking at the tuna market in the United States, there is a trend of tripartite confrontation. One side is Starkist of South Korea's Dongyuan group, and the other side is Tri-Union of Thailand's Wansheng group, the third party is Bumblebee Food Company (Bumble Bee). Jokingly, the three brothers waved their hands, and the US tuna market had to shake.
As the saying goes, the wind brought by these three enterprises is the "special care" of the judicial department ".
As early as 2015, the U.S. judiciary conducted an investigation on the pricing of the tuna product trading market. At that time, taiwansheng group was negotiating to acquire bumblebee company, which was finally stopped by the judicial department on the grounds that "the market could not operate normally after the merger". The implication was that taiwansheng's behavior was suspected of monopolizing the industry, the acquisition case was finally aborted at the end of 2015.
In addition, on August this year, according to the investigation of the judicial department, Bumblebee and starcester company had great suspicion in manipulating market prices. Finally, two sales executives of bumblebee company pleaded guilty and the company was fined 25 million US dollars by the US court. Later, Stephen Hodge, the former senior vice president of marketing at starkeyster company, pleaded guilty. However, only taiwansheng group and its branches withdrew completely without being accused, and the Mermaid (Chicken of the Sea) products it sold were not affected. People from Bumblebee and starquester company said that taiwansheng, together with the seafood company, might be the reporter of the investigation. Moreover, according to an investigation by Mlex, an anti-monopoly news media organization in the United States, taiwansheng may enjoy the "leniency" granted by the U.S. Department of Justice ".
According to the latest report, the three parties of the American branch of taiwansheng group, together with seafood ("Sanlian seafood" for short), admitted that they had reported that American tuna enterprises manipulated prices. However, the "leniency" granted by the U.S. Department of Justice has not been fully recognized. Sanlian seafood said that this was only because taiwansheng needed to adjust the investment situation and share price of the U.S. branch during this period, so the judicial department gave appropriate leniency treatment, and the employees, investors and the company would not be fined, imprisonment or other punishment, but this matter has nothing to do with the headquarters of taiwansheng group.