President Donald Trump on Monday nominated his former lawyer and current White House counsel Makan Delrahim to serve as antitrust chief—potentially putting a man who once said there was nothing wrong with the AT&T/Time Warner mega-merger in charge of reviewing competition for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Delrahim previously served as deputy assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005 under then-President George W. Bush.
If confirmed by the Senate this time around, the corporate lawyer and lobbyist will serve as assistant attorney general for the DOJ agency that approves or rejects mergers and acquisitions and investigates companies for potential anti-competition threats. Delrahim’s prospective boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is generally seen as merger-friendly.
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Delrahim said in an interview with a Canadian television program last year that he didn’t see a problem with the proposed consolidation of AT&T and Time Warner, which is still on track for review by the DOJ.
“The sheer size of it, and the fact that it’s media, I think will get a lot of attention,” he said at the time. “However, I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem.”
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