From the L.A. Times:
Food service giant Sodexo Inc. has filed suit against the nation's largest egg trade group and some leading egg farmers, alleging they perpetrated a decadelong scheme to artificially inflate egg prices.
The civil complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, claims that an egg cartel conspired to limit domestic supply by killing off hens under the guise of treating the remaining animals more humanely by giving them more cage room. The alleged scheme resulted in as much as a 40% increase in U.S. wholesale egg prices in 2008, according to the lawsuit.
The suit, filed Thursday by a Maryland-based unit of the French company, marks the latest salvo in a massive antitrust battle forming over the price of eggs. Egg producers say federal law allows them to work collaboratively. U.S. grocers, food suppliers and distributors claim that the industry illegally colluded to manipulate the market.