Yuliya V. Bolotova(a)
(a)Iowa State University
JEL Codes: L1, L2, L4, Q13
Keywords: Farm support programs, oligopsony, oversupply, peanuts, price-fixing
Publish Date: October 6, 2023
Volume 5, Issue 4
This case study is motivated by recent developments in the U.S. peanut industry involving allegations of an illegal exercise of buyer market power by the three largest peanut buyers (peanut shellers) in the country. They purchased raw peanuts directly from peanut growers. Peanut growers filed a class action antitrust lawsuit alleging that these buyers engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy aiming to suppress and stabilize prices of peanuts paid to peanut growers beginning in 2014. The case study introduces economic, business, and legal issues related to the alleged peanut price-fixing cartel. The case study presents economic models that help explain conduct and performance of the peanut industry in the analyzed setting, and it includes basic market and price analysis. The intended audiences are undergraduate and graduate students, as well as extension and outreach communities. A teaching note summarizes student learning objectives, teaching strategies, and student background knowledge. The teaching note also includes multiple-choice questions, as well as suggested answers and guidance to analytical, discussion, and multiple-choice questions.
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Court Documents and Relevant Webpages
“In Re Peanut Farmers Antitrust Litigation” webpage. 2022. https://www.peanutfarmersantitrustlitigation.com/
“In Re Peanut Farmers Antitrust Litigation, Notice of Class Certification.” 2022. https://angeion-public.s3.amazonaws.com/www.PeanutFarmersAntitrustLitigation.com/docs/Peanuts+Long+Form+Notice-1-5-21_FINAL.pdf
“In Re Peanut Farmers Antitrust Litigation.” 2020. Second Amended Class Action Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial, filed on May 27. https://angeion-public.s3.amazonaws.com/www.PeanutFarmersAntitrustLitigation.com/docs/2020-05-27+-+2nd+amended+complaint.pdf
Articles in this issue
Market Power in the U.S. Peanut Industry
Yuliya V. Bolotova
To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild When Disaster Hits
Jada M. Thompson, Misti D. Sharp, and Jonathan C. Walton
Demand Dashboards: Interactive Tools to Communicate Consumer Behavior
Justin D. Bina and Glynn T. Tonsor