The cooperative Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to pay a total of $50 million to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers to settle antitrust allegations.
A class-action lawsuit filed in 2009 charged Dallas-based Dean Foods, DFA, and the cooperative's marketing arm, Dairy Marketing Services, with working together to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast, driving down prices paid to dairy farmers.
DFA does not admit any wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement. It says the legal costs have become too great.
The settlement agreement is preliminary and must be approved by a judge.
Dairy processor Dean Foods Co. agreed to a settlement of $30 million in 2011.