Erik Koons

Department Chair - Litigation (Washington D.C.) and Chair - Antitrust Consumer Products Partner

[email protected]

Washington, D.C.

P: +1.202.639.7973
F: +1.202.585.1086
Erik Koons

Erik Koons is a Partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice of Baker Botts' Washington, D.C. office. He has more than twenty years of experience representing many of the world's leading companies in bet-the-company antitrust litigations involving the full gamut of competition related claims, including those alleging price fixing, market and customer allocation, monopolization, monopsonization, “sham” patent litigation, tying and bundling. Many of these litigations have involved massive, nationwide class action claims for both direct and indirect purchaser plaintiffs as well as suits brought by state and federal governments. Mr. Koons’ class action defense experience involves claims seeking in the hundreds of millions to over $10 billion in alleged damages. Mr. Koons’ experience has been concentrated in the pharmaceutical, medical device, CPG/FMCG, technology, telecom, chemical, manufacturing, transportation and electronics industries. Mr. Koons devotes a substantial amount of his practice representing companies in internal competition-related investigations and in connection with investigations launched by federal antitrust enforcement agencies and states attorneys general. He regularly counsels corporations on competition-related business matters and designs and implements antitrust compliance programs for clients across the globe.

Mr. Koons was a member of the trial team that received dismissals of six of the seven price-fixing and monopolization charges for McWane, Inc. in an eight-week bench trial against the FTC. The dismissals marked the first time in nearly 20 years that the Commission ruled against itself following an in-house trial in front of the agency’s administrative law judge. The case earned the McWane trial team the award for “Behavioral Matter of the Year- Americas” by Global Competition Review.

Mr. Koons is a sought-after writer and speaker on a wide range of antitrust topics and has authored competition related articles and publications, including as co-author of the recent chapter of “GCR Know How” and co-editor of the ABA’s publication on Obtaining Discovery Abroad, 3rd ed.

Mr. Koons devotes a portion of his practice to pro bono matters involving those who might otherwise lack access to justice. For example, Mr. Koons mounted a constitutional challenge when his client was confined to solitary incarceration for three years as punishment for defending himself against a brutal assault by a prison gang that left the client in the hospital for an extended period. Mr. Koons tried the case before a federal jury in Syracuse, New York and obtained the only verdict of its kind awarding both compensatory and punitive damages to an incarcerated plaintiff seeking compensation against the state.  Mr. Koons has worked on dozens of other pro bono matters involving applications for DNA evidence review in connection to applications for actual innocence and criminal expungement work to rid individuals of the stigmas that often prevent them from obtaining gainful employment.

From 1999-2000, Mr. Koons was clerk to the Hon. Norman A. Mordue, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of New York.

Related Experience

  • In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation. Representing pharmaceutical defendants as co-lead counsel in massive MDL litigation brought by state attorneys general, individual, direct action plaintiffs, and putative classes of direct, intermediate, and end purchaser plaintiffs.  
  • Somers et al. v. QVC, Inc. Representing QVC, Inc. as lead antitrust counsel in defense of monopolization claim brought by Suzanne Somers and Somers’ owned company.
  • v. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, et al. Lead counsel representing the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in defense of Sherman Act Section 1 conspiracy claim and false advertising claim under the Lanham Act.
  • In re Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation. Representing Philips in all aspects of state AG, opt-out, and class action cases before MDL court in San Francisco alleging price fixing claims under the Sherman Act and state competition-related laws.
  • Represented multinational manufacturing client in large, years-long government enforcement investigation relating to competition issues involving client’s operations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Resolved favorably for client. 
  • New Prime v. Eaton Corporation – Represented defendant in action alleging monopolization, exclusionary conduct, fraud, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment brought by an indirect purchaser in federal court in Missouri. Received full dismissal of complaint at motion to dismiss stage.
  • Mark S. Wallach and In re Class 8 Truck Transmission Indirect Purchaser Litigation v. Eaton. Represented Eaton in direct and indirect purchaser class action suits; received dismissal of the direct purchaser case and a denial of class certification in the indirect purchaser suit; both decisions affirmed on appeal.
  • Metaswitch Networks Ltd., v. Ribbon Communications Inc., managed defense of claims alleging violation of Sherman Act Sections 1 & 2, Lanham Act, and state unfair competition and false advertising laws. Case settled after successful change of venue motion.
  • In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2090 (D. Minn.). Counsel for defendant C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., MDL Docket No. 2090 (D. Minn.) Trial verdict on all claims in favor of client.
  • In the Matter of Respondent McWane, Inc. Trial counsel for Respondent in two-month “Part 3” trial against the Federal Trade Commission alleging price fixing and monopolization. The Commission dismissed six of its seven counts, and closed a related investigation with no action.
  • Sterling Merchandising, Inc. v. Nestlé, S.A., Nestlé Puerto Rico, Inc., and Payco Foods Corporation. Managed defense and received summary judgment dismissing all claims alleging violations of Sherman Act Section 1 and 2, Clayton Act Section 3 and Puerto Rican statutory analogues. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Shows et al. v. State Farm, E.A. Renfroe & Company, Inc., et al. Defended several hundred RICO and breach of contract actions filed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Waste Services, Inc. v. Waste Management, Inc. Managed the case and was granted summary judgment for the defendant on Section 2 attempted monopolization and tortious interference claims.
  • The Coca-Cola Company, Inc. v. Quest International. Represented The Coca-Cola Company in a breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation action resulting from a supplier’s failure to manufacture flavoring approved under the Japanese Food Sanitation laws.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana v. Rapides Healthcare System et al. Represented Blue Cross of Louisiana in a monopsony case brought by HCA-owned hospitals.
  • Chester County Hospital v. Independence Blue Cross, et al. Monopoly, monopsony, Sherman Act Section 1, Clayton Act Section 7.

Awards & Community

Recognized as a Washington D.C. Super Lawyer (Thomson Reuters), 2013, 2017, 2018 & 2020-2023.

Recognized in Global Competition Review's Who's Who Legal: Competition, 2017-2022

Recommended in The Legal 500, 2016-2017

Global Competition Review's “Behavior Matter of the Year” Award (2015) for defense of McWane, Inc. in an antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission

Nominee: Global Competition Review's "Litigation of the year - cartel defense" for defense of C&S Wholesale Grocers (2019)


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Thought Leadership

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