Covington & Burling (Washington)

Thomas O. Barnett

Covington & Burling (Washington)
Lawyer (Partner)

Thomas Barnett is a partner in the Washington, DC office and co-chair of the firm’s Antitrust & Consumer Law Practice Group. He specializes in global antitrust and competition law practice and works closely with the firm’s white collar practice on criminal antitrust enforcement and investigative matters. Mr. Barnett recently served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. He headed the Antitrust Division from 2005 to 2008, having previously served in the Division as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Enforcement from 2004 to 2005. During his tenure, Mr. Barnett was involved in some of the largest and most complicated criminal matters in the Division’s history, including investigations and prosecutions that involved coordination with multiple competition authorities in other jurisdictions. In the merger area, Mr. Barnett oversaw the review of all mergers investigated by the Division and supervised more than 30 cases filed in federal district court. He also oversaw an active competition advocacy program that included numerous amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on antitrust issues and comments to a wide range of federal and state agencies. He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court as amicus on behalf of the United States in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and testified several times before Congressional committees. While at the Antitrust Division, Mr. Barnett worked with international antitrust authorities throughout the world and served in leadership positions in key international competition organizations, such as chairing the Working Party on International Cooperation and Enforcement of the OECD Competition Committee and serving on the Steering Committee of the International Competition Network. Mr. Barnett received the Edmund Randolph Award, the U.S. Department of Justice’s highest honor, for his service in the Division. Prior to 2004, Mr. Barnett was a leader in the firm’s Antitrust & Consumer Law Practice Group. He counseled Fortune 500 companies on all aspects of antitrust law and was involved in mergers and acquisitions, government antitrust investigations, and antitrust litigation involving a wide range of industries. He served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching a course on antitrust and intellectual property issues in sports in 2001 and 2003, and as a co-teacher of an advanced antitrust seminar at the University of Virginia Law School multiple times between 1991 and 2004.


Auteurs associés

Covington & Burling (Washington)
Covington & Burling (London)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
Covington & Burling (Washington)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)


2483 Bulletin

Steven Fagell, Thomas Barnett, Anne Y. Lee, Phillip H. Warren, Derek Ludwin, Ross A. Demain The US DoJ remains committed to prosecuting collusion in labor markets to reduce employee wages (Neeraj Jindal)


On December 10th, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced its first criminal indictment targeting an alleged conspiracy to reduce employee wages. The DOJ charged the former owner of a therapist staffing company with conspiring to reduce pay rates for healthcare worker (...)

Kathryn Cahoy, Thomas Barnett, Anne Y. Lee, Derek Ludwin The US antitrust enforcers warn of continued action against collusive conduct impacting workers in US labour markets during the pandemic


The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition issued another reminder yesterday that the COVID-19 pandemic does not exempt companies from complying with federal antitrust laws. The agencies’ latest statement focuses on the labor force and (...)

Thomas Barnett, Beth Brinkmann, Derek Ludwin The US Supreme Court holds that the claims of consumers purchasing apps from a big tech app store may proceed as they are direct purchasers of the big tech company (Apple / Pepper)


This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Appellate and Supreme Court On May 13, 2019, the Supreme Court (“the Court”) announced its 5-4 decision in Apple, Inc. v. Pepper, permitting iPhone users to (...)

Thomas Barnett, Deborah A. Garza, John D. Graubert, James R. Dean, James J. O’Connell, Ross A. Demain The US DoJ imposes a $11 million fine for merger notification violation on an investment company (ValueAct)


Yesterday, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it has settled its lawsuit against ValueAct Capital Management L.P. (“ValueAct”) for violating the Hart- Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the “HSR Act”). The settlement is noteworthy for two (...)

Thomas Barnett, Deborah A. Garza, John D. Graubert, Timothy C. Hester, Andrew D. Lazerow, John W. Nields, James J. O’Connell The US FTC brings a lawsuit in the pharmaceutical sector for monopolization based on patent litigation (AndroGel II)


The Federal Trade Commission has brought its first suit alleging anticompetitive conduct in connection with the prosecution and settlement of pharmaceutical patent litigation since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in FTC v. Actavis. Although two commissioners dissented from the decision to (...)

Thomas Barnett, Deborah A. Garza, Derek Ludwin, James J. O’Connell, Alan M. Wiseman The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rules that a foreign anticompetitive conduct may be subject to US antitrust laws (Minn-Chem / Agrium)


Yesterday, the influential Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, held that foreign anticompetitive conduct can be regulated by U.S. antitrust law if it has “a reasonably proximate causal nexus” with an injury to a U.S. purchaser. The Seventh Circuit explicitly rejected the (...)

Thomas Barnett, James R. Dean, Deborah A. Garza, John D. Graubert, James J. O’Connell, Anita F. Stork, David W. Addis The US DoJ and FTC announce changes to the HSR Act merger notification process and transaction report form submitted by companies


On July 7, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice (“the Agencies”) announced significant changes to the form and accompanying materials that companies must submit when reporting transactions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (“HSR Act”). Although the (...)

Thomas Barnett, James R. Dean, Deborah A. Garza, John D. Graubert, Timothy C. Hester, James J. O’Connell The US FTC and DoJ issue revised horizontal merger guidelines


Last week, the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) (together, the “Agencies”) issued revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) describing how the Agencies seek to determine whether a merger of competing companies will substantially lessen competition. The (...)

Thomas Barnett, James R. Dean, Deborah A. Garza, John D. Graubert, Timothy C. Hester, James J. O’Connell The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania holds that reverse payments cases will proceed to discovery in a patent litigation in the pharmaceutical sector (Cephalon)


In the latest development in the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to challenge Hatch-Waxman patent litigation settlements, earlier this week a federal district court in Pennsylvania denied in part defendants’ motions to dismiss antitrust complaints challenging a series of such settlements. The (...)

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