Charitable Conspiracy

A judge finds M.I.T. and the Ivy League guilty of price fixing

For more than 30 years the eight Ivy League colleges and M.I.T., as well as dozens of other private institutions, mostly in the Northeast, agreed that they would not try to outbid one another for talented students who needed financial assistance. Each spring this so-called Overlap Group, led by M.I.T. and the Ivies (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale), would share information about needy students accepted by more than one of the member schools, working out a standard financial-aid package. Last year the Justice Department charged that this practice violated U.S. antitrust laws by suppressing competition among the...

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