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Peter T. Barbur

Partner, Litigation

Peter T. Barbur handles a wide variety of antitrust, intellectual property and securities litigation, as well as internal corporate investigations, antitrust‑related government investigations, international arbitrations and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters.

Mr. Barbur won dismissal for American Express (“AmEx”) of a civil lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by the U.S. Department of Justice and 17 state attorneys general alleging that AmEx’s nondiscrimination provisions in its merchant agreements violate antitrust laws. This case—one of the largest and most significant cases arising under Section 1 of the Sherman Act that the Government has brought to trial in over a decade—culminated in a nearly two‑month bench trial in July‑August 2014. In September 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s determination that AmEx’s merchant acceptance rules violated federal antitrust law and remanded the case “with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Amex.” Mr. Barbur also represented AmEx in the appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court. In June 2018, the Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit’s judgment in favor of AmEx. He previously represented AmEx and certain of its directors and officers in a shareholder derivative lawsuit arising from the DOJ’s enforcement action; defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint was granted with prejudice.

Mr. Barbur continues to represent AmEx in a putative class action brought on behalf of all U.S. merchants alleging that AmEx improperly tied acceptance of certain of its card products to acceptance of other AmEx card products. He also represented AmEx in a series of putative class actions and individual lawsuits brought by large supermarket and pharmacy chains alleging that AmEx’s “anti‑steering” rules violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, which settled in April 2019 following AmEx’s victory in the Supreme Court.

Mr. Barbur represented Sabre, a leading travel technology company, in its successful appeal of a $15 million jury verdict in antitrust litigation brought by US Airways alleging that certain of Sabre’s contract provisions restrained airfare competition. In September 2019, the Second Circuit vacated the jury verdict and remanded for further proceedings.

Mr. Barbur represented Time Warner Inc. as trial counsel in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the DOJ seeking to block the company’s $109 billion sale to AT&T—the government’s first challenge to a vertical merger in decades—securing a victory in June 2018 following a six‑week trial. Mr. Barbur also represented Time Warner on regulatory clearance issues in connection with the merger, which closed two days after the trial decision.

Mr. Barbur also represented Warner Media on antitrust issues in connection with its investment in NewTV, as part of its $1 billion initial funding round, which closed in August 2018. NewTV is a mobile‑first media platform led by Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Mr. Barbur represented Viacom International and Black Entertainment Television in a lawsuit brought by Cablevision in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that Viacom’s 2012 licensing agreement with Cablevision constituted illegal tying and block‑booking in violation of the Sherman Act and New York’s Donnelly Act.

In addition to his antitrust work, Mr. Barbur represented IBM in a DOJ FCPA investigation relating to IBM’s operations in Poland, Argentina, Bangladesh and Ukraine, which closed in June 2017 without any enforcement action. He also represented IBM in an investigation by the SEC relating to IBM’s operations in China and Korea, which settled.

Mr. Barbur previously represented Time Warner in connection with government investigations and private securities litigation concerning financial reporting and disclosure issues arising out of Time Warner’s merger with America Online in 2000.

Mr. Barbur also represented a special committee appointed by the Eli Lilly Board of Directors to respond to shareholder derivative demands and lawsuits relating to the marketing of Zyprexa.

Mr. Barbur was recognized as a “Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal in 2019. The 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation named him to its list of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.” He was also named a “National Star” in antitrust litigation and a “Local Litigation Star” in the New York area by the publication (2013‑2020). He was also recognized as a leader in antitrust litigation by The Best Lawyers in America (2015‑2020). Mr. Barbur has been recognized for his antitrust, patent and media and entertainment work by The Legal 500 US, and was selected by Lawdragon from 2012 through 2020 as one of “500 Leading Lawyers in America.” Mr. Barbur is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aperture Foundation, a member of the Photography Committee at the Whitney Museum of American Art and a member of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal.

Mr. Barbur received a B.A. magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1983, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1987, where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review, a Root‑Tilden Scholar and elected to the Order of the Coif. Following his graduation, he served as a law clerk to Hon. Hugh H. Bownes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Mr. Barbur joined Cravath in 1988 and was elected a partner in 1994.

Mr. Barbur is admitted only in New York.

+1 (212) 474-1058
+1 (212) 474-3700