Northeast dairy farmers could get average of $4K in proposed anti-trust settlement

Markets Associated Press

More than 7,000 Northeast dairy farmers stand to get an average of $4,000 in a proposed settlement with the cooperative Dairy Farmers of America to resolve antitrust allegations.

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A final court hearing was held last week in Vermont on the $50 million settlement.

The 2009 class-action lawsuit charged the cooperative, its marketing arm Dairy Marketing Services, and Dallas-based Dean Foods with working together to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast, driving down prices paid to dairy farmers.

Dean Foods agreed to a $30 million settlement in 2011.

A judge is expected to decide in the coming months whether to approve the DFA settlement, and farmers now have until May to submit a claim.

The settlement covers farmers in Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

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DFA has not admitted any wrongdoing.