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FTC Investigates Supply Chain Disruptions; Enlists Tyson, Walmart and More

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Tyson Foods, Inc., is one of nine large retailers, wholesalers and consumer good suppliers ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide information that will help the FTC investigate ongoing supply chain disruptions – specifically how disruptions are causing hardships for consumers and harming competition in the U.S. economy.

In addition to Tyson, the orders are being sent to Walmart Inc.,, Inc., Kroger Co., C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., McLane Co, Inc. Procter & Gamble Co., and Kraft Heinz Co. The companies will have 45 days to respond from the date they receive the order, FTC said in a release.

The study will also examine whether supply chain disruptions are leading to specific bottlenecks, shortages, anticompetitive practices or contributing to rising consumer prices.

The companies will be required to detail the primary factors disrupting their ability to obtain, transport and distribute their products; the impact these disruptions are having in terms of delayed and canceled orders, increased costs and prices; the products, suppliers and inputs most affected; the steps the companies are taking to alleviate disruptions; and how they allocate products among their stores when they are in short supply.

Companies must provide internal documents regarding the supply chain disruptions, including strategies related to supply chains; pricing; marketing and promotions; costs, profit margins and sales volumes; selection of suppliers and brands; and market shares, FTC said in a release.

The agency welcomes comments on how supply chain issues are affecting competition in the consumer goods market, allowing market participants an opportunity to surface additional issues and examples of how supply chain disruptions are affecting competition.

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