DFA sued for monopolizing milk market by buying Dean Foods assets

Another lawsuit has been filed following the sale of several Dean Foods assets to Dairy Farmers of America. 

In court documents filed Tuesday, the Food Lion grocery store chain along with the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative say Dairy Farmers of America have spent the past two decades consolidating and dominating the market for the supply of raw milk using unlawful conduct and anti-competitive agreements.  The plaintiffs consider Dairy Farmers of America the “Standard Oil of the modern dairy industry.”

The complaint claims DFA had a mutually advantageous partnership with the now-bankrupt Dean Foods, which claims the two dairy conglomerates “suppressed competition, raised market concentration, and bolstered each other’s market power” to the detriment of independent dairy farmers and customers.

The suit claims DFA will have a monopoly over the dairy supply chain and cause the death of the independent, family-owned dairy farms as well as create higher consumer prices.

Food Lion and the MDVA have asked for a preliminary injunction from the U.S. District Court in North Carolina to preserve the status quo until DFA can divest the Dean Foods assets in the region.

So far, no new court dates have been set and Dairy Farmers of America lawyers have not submitted a response to the complaint.

There have been other lawsuits against DFA and Dean Foods for similar issues, including a current lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and several state Attorneys General, including Wisconsin.

  • Same thing is happening(consolidation) within the milk hauling. Co-ops are forcing out us small haulers.

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