Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / Intellectual Property (IP) Law

Antitrust Suits Increased 48% in 2012

Antitrust lawsuits spiked by 48% last year, according to an article this week in Law360.  This was the first increase since 2008 (the year after the Supreme Court decided Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), which raised pleading standards for antitrust and other suits).

According to Law360:

During the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 702 antitrust suits were filed in federal courts, an increase of about 48 percent over the 475 cases brought the previous year, according to court data. The figures include lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs, as well as cases brought by and against the U.S.

Of those antitrust cases brought in 2012, 677 were brought by private plaintiffs, a 50 percent increase over the 452 private cases brought the previous year, according to the court data.

 We’ll see what 2013 brings, but the recent spike may suggest that there is a positive correlation between the economy as a whole and antitrust suits.  The dip since 2008 may be as much associated with the recession as with Twombly.

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