Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly: The Supreme Court Raises Pleading Standards for Allegations of Antitrust Conspiracies


The Supreme Court issued a noteworthy decision today that raises the pleading standards for plaintiffs alleging conspiracies in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The case, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, is important for businesses because it limits plaintiffs’ ability to bring speculative antitrust claims that lead to expensive discovery and set in motion the heavy machinery of antitrust litigation. Plaintiffs must now allege facts to support a “plausible” showing that the challenged conduct is the product of conspiracy rather than independent decision-making; allegations of parallel conduct that

are “consistent with” a conspiracy, coupled with a conclusory assertion that a conspiracy existed, are


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