A Chicago federal judge on Monday will question the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission over claims that its public statements announcing a $16 million settlement with two major food manufacturers went beyond the limited scope of what enforcers were allowed to say.

The two companies, Kraft Food Groups Inc. and Mondelēz Global LLC, said statements from the commodities agency Thursday “blatantly violate” the terms of a settlement resolving allegations of price manipulation in the wheat market. The consent order, ending four years of litigation, contained a provision that barred both sides from making “any public statement about this case other than to refer to the terms of this settlement agreement or public documents filed in this case.”

Heath Tarbert Heath Tarbert. Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/ NLJ

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