John P. Lucas

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In Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Billing, the United States Supreme Court, speaking through Justice Breyer, held that the current securities law regime impliedly precludes the application of state and federal antitrust laws to underwriters' and institutional investors' conduct during initial public offerings of securities. Justice Stevens concurred in the judgment only and issued his own opinion. Justice Thomas delivered the lone dissent. Justice Kennedy did not participate in the decision, likely because his son is a managing director of petitioner Credit Suisse Securities. Overturning the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Court continued its legacy of pruning the reach of potentially crippling class action antitrust suits for treble damages in the hyper-regulated arena of public corporate finance. The Court's decision makes clear that the securities laws impliedly preclude antitrust laws when the two are "clearly incompatible," given the context and likely consequences.