Class Action Cases Divide U.S. High Court

In wake of Wal-Mart, Amgen case could erect new barrier for suits by shareholders.

Two class action disputes divided the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday as companies looked to build on the victory they won last year when the justices threw out a nationwide gender-bias suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Hearing two arguments in Washington, the court’s Republican-appointed majority questioned separate efforts to press an antitrust suit against Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable television company, and a securities fraud case targeting Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology company.

Comcast Clash

Comcast is seeking to stop an antitrust lawsuit that seeks $875 million on behalf of as many as 2 million Philadelphia-area customers.

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