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Justice’s New Antitrust Chief Is a Known Quantity

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has tapped a Justice Department veteran and legal adviser to oversee merger review as assistant attorney general atop the Antitrust Division.

The White House has signaled its intention to nominate Makan Delrahim for the post. Justice’s Antitrust Division gets most of the media merger Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust reviews, including its current review of the AT&T-Time Warner Inc. merger.

Scott Cleland, who heads up the Internet service provider-backed group Net Competition, said Delrahim can be expected to be “a traditional Republican antitrust enforcer, with a constitutional conservative approach to the law,” plus “a whole lot more clout than any traditional DOJ Antitrust chief.”

Most recently, Delrahim has been deputy assistant and deputy counsel to the President, joining in January from a Los Angeles law firm where he had been partner. The White House did not identify the firm, but according to OpenSecrets, which tracks the professional movements of government employees, it was Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a firm whose clients have included Comcast, NCTA: The Television & Internet Association and Dell, among many others.

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.