The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2018

United States: Private Antitrust Litigation

Introduction The ‘plausibility' pleading standard announced by the US Supreme Court in recent years changed how all claims are pleaded, and especially affected how antitrust class actions are alleged and defended in the United States. This standard increased the pleading requirements for plaintiffs and augmented the ability of defendants to challenge the sufficiency of claims at the onset of litigation, boosting the importance of motions to dismiss, strike and amend class action claims. In these motions, three substantive issues have emerged as decisive in antitrust class actions - whether standing is plausibly alleged, whether the alleged class includes uninjured members, and whether the alleged class members are ascertainable. Following a summary of US antitrust class action requirements and the plausibility pleading standard, this article reviews the motions that can challenge claims at the onset of litigation and the emerging substantive issues that should be considered by parties pursuing or defending antitrust class action litigation.

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