Skip to main content

President Taps Legal Advisor to Head Antitrust Division

The president has tapped a Justice Department vet to vet mergers as assistant attorney general atop the Antitrust division.

The White House signaled late Monday that it intended to nominate Makan Delrahim for the post.

Most recently Delrahim was deputy assistant and deputy counsel to the president, joining the DOJ 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, which has represented Comcast, NCTA: The Television & Internet Association and Dell, among others.

Before that, during the George W. Bush Administration, Delrahim was deputy assistant attorney general for the DOJ's Antitrust division and the Attorney General’s Task Force on Intellectual Property. He is also former chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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 that threat was more about his anger at the media in general than an anti- merger philosophy.