Credit Suisse First Boston LLC, et al. v. Billing, et al. – Supreme Court Sides with Investment Banks in Antitrust Suit over IPO Practices


The Supreme Court held that antitrust claims against investment bank underwriters who engaged in practices known as “laddering,” “tying” and “excess compensation” in connection with initial public offerings, led to a “plain repugnancy” between the antitrust laws and the federal securities laws. As a result, in a 7-1 decision, the Court held that the securities laws implicitly preclude the application of the antitrust laws to these practices and dismissed the action. This decision may have a significant

impact for the securities industry and other industries with heavy regulatory oversight, including the


It may be more difficult to bring antitrust suits challenging practices covered by the securities


Other underwriting practices not covered by the decision, but regulated by the SEC, may be immune from antitrust liability; and

Based on the Court’s rationale underlying this decision, industries with active regulatory oversight may be immune from antitrust liability.

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