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DOJ Antitrust Nominee Makan Delrahim's Hearing on Hold

The expected questioning of Makan Delrahim, Donald Trump's nominee to head the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, will have to wait for another day.

Delrahim had been scheduled for a nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he was expected to be asked about the AT&T-Time Warner merger proposal, which President Donald Trump has criticized.

But committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said that a piece of paperwork was missing, which prevented him from being considered at the Wednesday hearing. 

"I’m disappointed we couldn’t go forward with Mr. Delrahim’s hearing this morning. We are still waiting on one piece of paperwork, which we understood we’d have by now," he said in his opening statement. "I imagine that will be transmitted to us within another day or two, and we look forward to including him on our next hearing."

Delrahim has been deputy counsel to the President for nomination and oversight since January and before that was with law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for more than a decade. The firm has represented Comcast, NCTA: The Television & Internet Association and Dell, among others.

He is also former deputy assistant attorney general at Justice during the last Republican Administration (2003-2005).

Justice's Antitrust Division gets most of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust reviews of media mergers, including its current review of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, which Trump, as a candidate, threatened to try to block. In the interim, the pro-business, anti-regulation Trump has come more to the fore, raising the odds that threat was more about his anger at the media in general than an anti-merger philosophy.

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.