President Trump nominated Makan Delrahim to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division.
Makan Delrahim will have to be confirmed by the Senate before taking his post as assistant attorney general for the antitrust division. The nominee, a longtime antitrust expert, previously served in a similar capacity at the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush.
Seth Bloom, a former general counsel of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, said he believes in Delrahim. He said, “I know Makan Delrahim to be smart, energetic, and expert in antitrust. He is certainly no pushover.”
If confirmed to lead the antitrust division, Delrahim would review corporate mergers, including the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Makan Delrahim previously said that although the size of the merger is concerning, he does not see it as an antitrust problem. He believes, “The sheer size of it, and the fact that it’s media, I think will get a lot of attention.” He continued, “However, I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem.”
Although Delrahim’s comments suggest he might rule in favor of the AT&T merger, the nominee might have to recuse himself, because he previously worked as a lobbyist for AT&T from 2007 to 2008. Delhrahim also worked as a lawyer, opposing AT&T’s bid to buy T-Mobile on behalf of companies like Dish Network, citing antitrust concerns.
President Trump on the campaign trail chided the pending merger between AT&T and Time Warner, claiming, “It’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, President Trump maintained that there needs to be competition in the media.
The President said:
I don’t want to comment on any specific deal, but I do believe there has to be competition in the marketplace and maybe even more so with the media because it would be awfully bad after years if we ended up having one voice out there. You have to have competition in the marketplace and you have to have competition among the media. And I’m not commenting on any one deal, but you need competition generally and you certainly need it with media.
Peter Navarro, the director of the National Trade Council in the Trump White House, said that Trump is opposed to the consolidation of media power in a handful of companies:
The very corporations that have gained from shipping America’s factories and jobs offshore are the very same media conglomerates now pushing Hillary Clinton’s agenda. She is the official candidate of the multinational ruling elite.
NBC, and its Clinton megaphone MSNBC, were once owned by General Electric, a leader in offshoring factories to China. Now NBC has been bought by Comcast, which is specifically targeting the Chinese market – even as Comcast’s anchors and reporters at MSNBC engage in their Never Trump tactics.
AT&T, the original and abusive “Ma Bell” telephone monopoly, is now trying to buy Time Warner and thus the wildly anti-Trump CNN. Donald Trump would never approve such a deal because it concentrates too much power in the hands of the too and powerful few.