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In a recent opinion authored by Judge Posner, the Seventh Circuit refined the standards for surviving motions to dismiss under Twombly. In that case-In re Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation-the plaintiffs claimed that major cellular-phone providers conspired to fix prices of text-messaging services. The plaintiffs' complaint alleged that the defendants implemented a policy of "co-opetition" by exchanging price information at trade-association meetings, increasing prices despite falling costs, and simultaneously adopting a common pricing structure. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a motion to dismiss, and concluded that the plaintiffs' complaint provided a sufficiently plausible case of price fixing to meet Twombly and Iqbal pleading standards. The court noted that even though the second amended complaint did not have a "smoking gun," the post-Twombly law does not require that the allegations "compel an inference of conspiracy," and continues to allow plaintiffs to rely on circumstantial evidence at the pleading stage.
To read all the "New Developments" in the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Antitrust Bulletin, click on the link below.
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