Way back on January 5, Blawgletter summarized the four antitrust cases that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken on for its 2006 Term.  For convenience, we’ll reproduce the summary here:

  • Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly — The standard for pleading a price-fixing conspiracy.  Must you give who-what-when-where particulars?
  • Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. — Does a manufacturer/distributor’s requiring resellers to charge minimum prices violate the Sherman Act per se?
  • Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co. — Requirements for a "predatory buying" antitrust claim.  Does the buyer have to lose money on the item that it bought too much of?  Must it also stand a good chance of recouping the loss?
  • Credit Suisse First Boston v. Billing — Do federal laws that regulate the buying and selling of securities (stocks, bonds, and the like) provide immunity for conduct that would otherwise violate federal antitrust law?

The parties argued Twombly on November 27, 2006.  We have no ruling yet. On January 20, the Court handed down its Weyerhaeuser opinion.  Short version:  plaintiffs lost.  See post here.

This coming week, the Justices will hear arguments in the last pair of the antitrust foursome.  On Monday, March 26, the Court will consider Leegin ("Questions Presented" here), and on the next day Their Honors will give a listen to Credit Suisse (here).  Blawgletter will post transcripts of the arguments as soon as the Court makes them available.

Another case of supreme importance to public companies also goes forward next week, specifically on March 28.  The case, Tellabs Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., No. 06-484, involves pleading requirements for securities fraud cases under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (here).  A victory for defendants may sharply reduce the viability of actions to enforce the Securities Exchange Act through civil lawsuits.

Barry Barnett

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