Dole Food Co Inc has entered into settlement agreements resolving the two consolidated putative class-action antitrust lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in which Dole and three other banana companies are defendants. Settlement agreements and their terms are subject to court approvals and required notices.
Michael Carter, Dole's executive vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, said, “Dole has always stated that these lawsuits were without merit, and Dole's view has not changed. Once there is final court approval, these settlement agreements will bring to an end this litigation against Dole and will not have any material effect on the company's financial condition or results.
“As we have disclosed in our SEC filings,” said Carter, “the European Commission's investigation of alleged violations of European Union competition (antitrust) laws by banana and pineapple importers and distributors operating within the European economic area is continuing, and we are cooperating with the EC. The settlement agreements Dole is announcing will not be affected by the EC investigation.”