Delrahim to Hill: We Were Forced to Sue to Block AT&T-Time Warner

Makan Delrahim, who heads up the Department of Justice's antitrust division, told a Senate panel Wednesday (Oct. 3) that Justice had been forced to sue to block AT&T-Time Warner, the first such suit against a vertical merger in 40 years, after "multiple efforts to settle."

That came in a Senate Antitrust Subcommittee hearing Wednesday on antitrust enforcement with Delrahim and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons.

Delrahim was outlining his department's antitrust efforts, including "confronting multibillion dollar mergers involving important industries."

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Waxing sarcastic about the criticisms about the AT&T/Time Warner deal being the first vertical merger challenged in 40 or 50 years, he took aim at TV pundits: "During the trial and leading up to it, there was a perception created by maybe hundreds of new vertical merger experts on television that all of a sudden they were saying we had never challenged a transaction in 40, 50 years. That's just not true. There have been multiple challenges where parties have sought divestitures or consent decrees."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.