Jan 10, 2017

Sessions contrasts with Trump on merger reviews

Jeff Sessions showed a bit of his hand on antitrust issues at his confirmation hearing:

  • He told one Senator that ambiguity in the law "leaves dangers of -- if not politicalization of it -- it remains dangers of policy agendas getting embroiled in it"
  • He also said he disapproves of regulators advancing "some other separate, discrete agenda that's not reasonably connected to the merger itself" by applying broad conditions to deals they approve

Decoded: His positions put him at odds with Donald Trump, who reportedly still wants to shut down AT&T's proposed purchase of Time Warner. Typically, the White House isn't directly involved in antitrust reviews, but that's not set in stone. Trump would benefit from having Sessions in its corner during that fight — especially since Republicans generally view big deals favorably.

Who else should care: Anyone with a stake in the rumored merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, or other potential deals.

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