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Bell Atlantic v. Twombly

United States Supreme Court
550 U.S. 544 (2007)

Bell Atlantic v. Twombly


William Twombly (plaintiff), on behalf of a putative class of telephone and high-speed internet subscribers, filed a complaint alleging that Bell Atlantic Corporation (defendant) violated § 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits conspiracies in restraint of trade. The complaint alleged that Bell Atlantic conspired with other local telephone companies by means of conscious parallelism to inhibit the growth of upstart telecommunications companies and to eliminate competition with each other. The alleged purpose of the conspiracy was to allow each involved local telephone company to dominate a specific market. Twombly did not introduce any additional evidence of an agreement between the companies. In district court, Bell Atlantic moved to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court granted this motion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the dismissal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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