Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fear antitrust

Private antitrust litigation, as measured by the number of cases filed in Federal district courts, has continued to increase sharply in the last several years. The number of private cases filed is now at its highest level in 25 years. One factor that has been posited for this recent increase is the practice of different plaintiffs' attorneys filing multiple "copycat" cases alleging the same or similar violations. The import of this may depend on one's perspective. From the perspective of a practitioner or law firm manager, more cases due to copycat filings may mean there is greater demand for the services of attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants. From a policymaker's perspective, however, more cases due to copycat filings may not mean there has been an increase of the number of antitrust violations or the amount of substantive antitrust enforcement.

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