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During the opening session in the federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's attornies asked Judge Louis Bechtle to move the case to Massachusetts where the overlap meetings occur. MIT is the only remaining university of the Overlap Group to still be involved in litigation -- the eight Ivy League universities who were initially charged alongside MIT signed a consent decree on May 22, agreeing to stop the meetings. In addition to the University, the Ivy League schools are Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University and Yale University. "This is the first time in the 101-year history of the Sherman Antitrust Act that the Department of Justice has maintained that the antitrust law applies in full force to the administration of the basic educational mission of non-profit educational institutions," MIT's attorney Thane Scott said. In the consent decree, the Ivy League schools said that they do not believe that the meetings violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, as the Justice Department claims, but that the cost of fighting the suit is prohibitive. University President Sheldon Hackney said in May that the University had already spent over $400,000 in the past two years to collect information for case. Other Ivy League schools reported similar costs. The Overlap Group conducted annual meetings where financial aid officers from the schools discussed tuition and financial aid packages for students that had been admitted to more than one of the schools. -- Stephen Glass

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