OCTOBER TERM, 2006
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
BELL ATLANTIC CORP. ET AL. v. TWOMBLY ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE SECOND CIRCUIT
No. 05–1126. Argued November 27, 2006—Decided May 21, 2007
The 1984 divestiture of the American Telephone & Telegraph Com-
pany’s (AT&T) local telephone business left a system of regional ser-
vice monopolies, sometimes called Incumbent Local Exchange Carri-
ers (ILECs), and a separate long-distance market from which the
ILECs were excluded. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 with-
drew approval of the ILECs’ monopolies, “fundamentally restruc-
tur[ing] local telephone markets” and “subject[ing] [ILECs] to a host
of duties intended to facilitate market entry.” AT&T Corp. v. Iowa
Utilities Bd., 525 U. S. 366, 371. It also authorized them to enter the
long-distance market. “Central to the [new] scheme [was each
ILEC’s] obligation . . . to share its network with” competitive local ex-
change carriers (CLECs).” Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Of-
fices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 U. S. 398, 402.
Respondents (hereinafter plaintiffs) represent a class of subscribers
of local telephone and/or high speed Internet services in this action
against petitioner ILECs for claimed violations of §1 of the Sherman
Act, which prohibits “[e]very contract, combination in the form of
trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce
among the several States, or with foreign nations.” The complaint al-
leges that the ILECs conspired to restrain trade (1) by engaging in
parallel conduct in their respective service areas to inh