Congress

Reports: Sen. Warren Blocks Antitrust Chief Nomination

Move could affect timing of DOJ's AT&T-Time Warner decision 8/08/2017 11:03 AM Eastern
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

The timeline for the vetting of the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger may have gotten fuzzier.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has put a hold on the nomination of President Donald Trump's pick for head of the Justice Department's antitrust arm, Makan Delrahim.

A single senator can block a presidential nominee for any reason and for an indefinite period of time.

A vote on Delrahim's nomination has been delayed until after the August recess.

Trump has been critical of the AT&T-Time Warner deal, as has Warren, who was one of almost a dozen Democratic senators who called on the DOJ to reject the $85 billion merger "if it determines that the significant harms to American consumers arising from the deal outweigh any alleged benefits."

Because of the way the deal was structured, the FCC is not reviewing it for public-interest impact; only Justice is vetting it, for antitrust issues, though almost certainly with input from the FCC as the expert agency in communications.

Delrahim had been deputy counsel to the president for nomination and oversight since January. Before that he spent more than a decade at law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which has represented Comcast, NCTA-The Television & Internet Association and Dell, among others.

He is also former deputy assistant attorney general at Justice during the last Republican Administration (2003-2005).

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