Jan 5, 2017

Donald Trump, trustbuster?

Bloomberg reports that Trump is opposed to the AT&T merger with Time Warner Inc. He thinks it would result in too much media consolidation, according to sources close to the president-elect.

Why it matters: The report shows that Trump's skepticism of the concentration of big business wasn't just campaign bluster. The question is—how far will he go to fight it?

Reading the tea leaves: A recent analysis by the antitrust partners at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher suggested that Trump's picks for roles such as Attorney General and the antitrust transition team shows he'll behave more like a traditional Republican.

In other words, Trump may not like the AT&T merger, but many folks on his transition team are likely more favorable to it, and it will cost the president-elect political capital to prevent them from getting their way.

What's next: Trump still needs to name his appointees to head the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice —the two agencies responsible for merger review.

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."