July 18 (Reuters) - A federal judge has allowed investors to pursue a closely watched lawsuit accusing several of the world's largest private equity firms of colluding to drive down prices on companies they sought to buy.
While dismissing two defendants from the case, U.S. District Judge Edward Harrington in Boston on Thursday said there are open issues as to whether eight other defendants were part of an "overarching" conspiracy to drive down prices on roughly a quarter trillion dollars of takeovers.
Harrington rejected requests by Bain Capital Partners LLC, Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group LP, Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm, KKR & Co, Silver Lake Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and TPG Capital Management LP to be dismissed from the lawsuit.
Apollo Global Management LLC and Providence Equity Partners Inc, in contrast, won dismissal.
The plaintiffs include shareholders in formerly publicly traded companies that were bought by the private equity firms between 2003 and 2007.