Mar 28, 2017

Trump names Makan Delrahim to top antitrust post

Current Deputy White House Counsel Makan Delrahi is President Trump's pick to be top antitrust enforcer, the White House announced Monday night.

If he is confirmed as Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, he'll oversee the reviews of major industry mergers, including the $85 billion proposed combination of AT&T and Time Warner. Other transactions pending at the DOJ include the merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont, and Bayer AG's acquisition of Monsanto.

Why it matters: Business leaders are anxious to see how the Trump administration will approach mega-mergers that would have been tougher sells under the Obama administration. While Republicans are generally more hands-off when it comes to antitrust, President Trump has publicly opposed the AT&T-Time Warner deal. While his stance seems to have softened since taking office, he's said there needs to be competition in the media market.

Bio: Prior to working in private practice at a LA law firm, Delrahim was an antitrust enforcer in the G.W. Bush administration. During that time, Delrahim led an investigation into complaints of anticompetitive practices at Clear Channel Communication's radio and concert businesses. The investigation was closedafter the company voluntarily spun off its concert arm into the separate Live Nation entity, according to the WSJ. He also served as chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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