Cargill Inc. and newly formed Wayne-Sanderson Farms agreed to pay $85 million to settle claims they violated antitrust laws by sharing information about the wages of poultry workers.

The civil settlement between the companies and the government follows a long review of the $4.5 billion sale of Sanderson Farms Inc., the third-largest U.S. poultry company, to Cargill and agricultural investment firm Continental Grain Co. farmers get paid, came three days after the deal closed. The deal, which was first announced in August 2021, combined Sanderson’s chicken operation with Wayne Farms LLC, a smaller chicken company owned by Continental, into a new privately held company based in Georgia.

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