The FCC has tapped a top Justice Department antitrust division lawyer, David Lawrence, to head the team reviewing the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger.
Lawrence has been counsel to assistant attorney general and antitrust chief Makan Delrahim.
“With his wide range of experience and expertise, David is well-positioned to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation into whether approval of this transaction would be in the public interest," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who made the pick.
The announcement came only a couple of hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the deal, creatively titled: "Game of Phones: Examining the Competitive Impact of the T-Mobile-Sprint Transaction."
Lawrence has been focusing on telecom and transportation at DOJ.
T-Mobile and Sprint filed the proposed deal with the FCC June 18, but at press time the FCC has yet to start its informal shot clock on vetting the deal--an FCC spokesperson signaled had been checking to make sure all the deal paperwork was in order first. Lawrence's appointment should signal that clock will start shortly.
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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.
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