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 Klobuchar (Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) — were among the six Democrats who sent a letter Monday to Makan Delrahim, head of the DOJ’s antitrust division.

{mosads}“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 Markey (Mass.) and Tom Udall (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 Trump 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.

Tags Amy Klobuchar antitrust Cory Booker DOJ Donald Trump Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren FCC Federal Communications Commission Justice Department merger Sprint T-Mobile Tom Udall wireless carriers

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