In a reversal from the past three years, the number of private antitrust lawsuits filed in federal courts rose significantly during the 2012 fiscal year, Thomson Reuters reports.

There were 677 antitrust suits filed in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012, a 50 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. Antitrust lawsuits had been falling, according to statistics from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which could be attributed to increasing legal costs and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, which heightened pleading standards for federal civil cases.

Robert Lande, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, told Reuters that this year’s rise in antitrust suits may stem from plaintiffs’ lawyers filing similar lawsuits for different plaintiff classes.

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