Senate Democrats ask DOJ about any White House involvement in T-Mobile-Sprint merger review

Senate Democrats ask DOJ about any White House involvement in T-Mobile-Sprint merger review
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A group of Senate Democrats is pressing the Department of Justice (DOJ) for answers on whether the White House has sought to influence its review of the $26 billion T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

Three presidential candidates — Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. The Hill's Campaign Report: Gloves off in South Carolina Lawmakers grill Ticketmaster, StubHub execs over online ticketing MORE (Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives MORE (Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats' Obama-to-Sanders shift on charter schooling This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Juan Williams: Black votes matter MORE (N.J.) — were among the six Democrats who sent a letter Monday to Makan Delrahim, head of the DOJ's antitrust division.


“In light of the potential implications of this transaction for American consumers, we write to reiterate that the Department’s decisions should be based on an impartial analysis of the facts and the law, and must be entirely free of improper political influence,” the group wrote.

The letter, also signed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyKennedy, Markey neck-and-neck in Massachusetts primary: poll Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE (Mass.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Overnight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan Now is our chance to turn the tide on ocean plastic pollution MORE (N.M.), comes after several news outlets reported that the DOJ’s antitrust staff had recommended blocking the merger out of concern for its potential effect on competition.

However, Fox Business reported last month that Delrahim was undecided and that many in the Trump administration support the merger.

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has given his blessing to the merger, and his Republican colleagues at the agency have signaled they would back his proposal to approve the deal.

The group of Senate Democrats on Monday asked Delrahim for information about any interactions he’s had with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE or anyone else at the White House regarding the merger.

The Justice Department said there have been no improprieties.

“As the Department of Justice stated in the past, all of the law enforcement decisions by the Antitrust Division are based on the facts and the law, and free from any improper political influence," Justice Department spokesman Jeremy Edwards said in an email statement to The Hill. "The T-Mobile/Sprint transaction is reviewed in this manner, just like any other transaction reviewed by the Justice Department.”

Updated at 12:59 p.m.