Senate confirms Trump’s antitrust pick
The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm President Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, a vote that comes as the department considers the AT&T-Time Warner merger worth $85.4 billion.
Makan Delrahim, who previously worked in Trump’s White House counsel’s office, was cleared with a 73-21 vote.
Delrahim will be tasked with spearheading the administration’s antitrust agenda at a time when the issue is becoming increasingly prominent. Across the board, industries are facing increased consolidation amid rumors of mega-mergers.
Sprint and T-Mobile are reportedly set to announce a merger in the coming weeks that would reduce the number of major national wireless carriers from four to three.
And the AT&T-Time Warner deal has prompted criticism from Democrats who worry that it could stifle competitors and raise prices for consumers.
Delrahim said in a media interview last year, prior to his nomination, that he doesn’t see that merger as a concern for regulators.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has advocated for stiffer antitrust enforcement from regulators, reportedly lifted an anonymous hold on Delrahim’s confirmation last week. According to Reuters, Warren grilled Delrahim in a meeting earlier this month about his positions and about potential White House interference on antitrust cases.