If There, Then Here: How Gov’t Probes Help Antitrust Plaintiffs

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It is common practice for private antitrust complaints to cite government investigations into the same or similar conduct as one way to help “nudge[] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.” One gray area in the law, however, is the extent to which investigations or guilty pleas in one market are suggestive of the plausibility of a conspiracy to commit the same illegal acts in another geographic or product market — the so-called “if there, then here” argument. This Law360 article by William Reiss and Dave Rochelson investigates when such allegations work and when they do not, with practical advice for incorporating such allegations into a complaint.