Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Phone Companies

The Supreme Court said today that local phone companies did not engage in anti-competitive behavior in a lawsuit brought against them by consumers. A class action suit had been filed by local phone and high speed Internet users against Bell Atlantic Corp. (now Verizon Communications Inc.), BellSouth Corp., Qwest Communications International Inc., and SBC Communications Inc. (bought AT&T and the renamed company has since merged with BellSouth). Plaintiffs’ attorneys had alleged that these phone companies had conspired not to compete against each other and also to keep smaller companies from entering their market territories. This is after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 openly up previous monopoly markets to competition.

In a 7-2 decision, The Supreme Court ruled that because the plaintiffs’ suit lacked specifics to nudge “their claims across the line from conceivable to plausibe,” the complaint must be dismissed. 

The case is The case is Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 05-112.