The chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and two commissioners must appear in court next month in Chicago as a judge weighs whether to sanction the agency for media statements that two major food producers contend went outside the scope of what enforcers were allowed to say.

Lawyers for the two companies, Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Mondelēz Global LLC, quickly went to court last week after the CFTC announced the $16 million settlement resolving alleged price manipulation in the wheat market. The attorneys, including a team from Jenner & Block and Eversheds Sutherland, argued that statements from Chairman Heath Tarbert and Commissioners Dan Berkovitz and Rostin Behnam violated a settlement provision that limited what the agency could publicly say about the deal.

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