Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Year Resolved


Settlement Amount



Ramsey County Court, Second Judicial District

Docket Number


Lead State


Participating States



Marigold Foods, Inc., Land O’Lakes, Inc., George Benz & Sons, Inc. d/b/a Oak Grove Dairy, Inc., Marigold Venture, Inc., d/b/a/ Franklin Foods, and Schroeder Brothers, Inc.

Case Description

The State of Minnesota sought damages, statutory penalties and injunctive relief for Defendants’ alleged violation of the Minnesota Antitrust Act of 1971, Minn. Stat. §§ 325D.49-325D.66 (2004). The State alleged that the Defendants conspired to restrain trade by fixing the prices of fluid milk products at artificially high levels from 1985 through at least July of 1996. The State alleged that the Defendants and their co-conspirators entered into a combination or agreement to fix, raise, maintain, and/or stabilize prices of fluid milk products by controlling the pricing and distribution of milk and milk products to grocery stores, convenience stores, and other wholesale purchasers of fluid milk products for resale to the general public. The State alleged the Defendants were able to fix prices for fluid milk by agreeing as to the prices they would pay for raw milk and agreeing as to wholesale prices they would charge for fluid milk products. The State also alleged the Defendants fraudulently concealed the conspiracy. Ultimately, the Defendants agreed, through an Assurance of Discontinuance, to an annual donation of 250,000 gallons of milk to food banks throughout the state. The donated milk was distributed annually to the food banks for five years. Two food bank networks oversaw the distribution of the milk. Schroeder Milk Company, Inc. was part of the Assurance, but did not participate in the milk donations.