The Potential Impact of Twombly on Antitrust Class Actions

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Wendy Bloom, James Langenfeld, Jun 25, 2008

Just over a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly which arguably changed the pleading standards required for all complaints filed in federal court. Twombly has particular relevance to antitrust class actions, however, because the complaint at issue in Twombly was an antitrust class action. While it is too early to assess the full impact Twombly will have on antitrust class actions, we believe that, as a result of Twombly, economic analysis now matters at the earliest stages of an antitrust class action. It is no longer sufficient for plaintiffs to file complaints with bare bones Sherman Act Section 1 allegations, and await summary judgment to proffer a coherent economic theory after learning the facts through discovery.