Pets.com, a popular pet food site, said on Tuesday that it was being sued by a consumer advocacy group over alleged anti-trust violations.
PetfoodPlus, a pet food company owned by Petco, and other pet food manufacturers are also suing Petco over alleged anticompetitive practices, according to a statement from the Consumer Watchdog, a consumer watchdog group.
The consumer group alleges that Petco engaged in anti-monopoly practices by controlling or controlling-and-monopolizing-pet food businesses and by promoting or encouraging predatory pricing, according a statement.
Petco declined to comment on the claims, but said it “takes claims of anti-consumer conduct very seriously and investigates all allegations to ensure we are fully compliant with the law.”
Pets.com reported on Tuesday it has been “the subject of an aggressive, high-profile and high-stakes anti-pet-food campaign waged by PetCo” since April.
In a blog post, Pets.co said that it is “actively engaged in the litigation” against Petco and that “petfood is not only a consumer favorite, it is also a cornerstone of our business model.”
Petco said it plans to defend itself against the claims in court.
“The allegations in the Consumerist complaint are baseless and baseless, and we take these matters very seriously,” a company spokesperson told the Financial Times.
“We have zero tolerance for anti-Pete Carroll style harassment and are actively engaged in defending ourselves in the courts.”
Petco, owned by U.S. food giant PepsiCo, said it would “actively defend against the allegations.”
The consumer watchdog, which has been monitoring the food industry for more than a decade, also noted that pet food is becoming more popular and more expensive than in the past.
“Pets, Pets Plus and Petco have been able to use a competitive advantage in their pet food business to grow their business, but they are losing out on consumers and consumers’ dollars as they struggle to make ends meet, according the Consumerism report,” the report stated.
The Consumerism review said that PetCo had made “significant investments” to acquire pet food businesses, including buying the company’s pet food subsidiary, Petco Pet Food.
PetfoodPlus has been in the food business for decades.
It is based in San Francisco and is based at the same campus as Petco’s San Francisco campus.
It has an office in San Jose and an online store.
PetCo has also been aggressively pursuing competitors in the pet food market.
In 2015, it bought the pet-food company PetSmart for $1.3 billion.
In 2016, PetCo bought a pet-supply chain, PetSmart Pet Supply, for $250 million.
In 2018, it acquired a pet supply company, PetFitness, for nearly $200 million.
In 2018, Petcos parent company, SPC Brands, said its shares would be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because of a “lack of financial stability.”