Thursday, September 28, 2017

Senate Confirms Makan Delrahim to DOJ (Antitrust)

By a vote of 73-21, the Senate on Wednesday evening confirmed Makan Delrahim to head the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The powerhouse corporate law firm Davis Polk put out a Client Alert on Delrahim after his nomination in March.

It included this:
Mr. Delrahim’s antitrust views are generally in line with previous Republican-appointed
AAGs, leaning towards a more flexible, industry-specific approach with greater
willingness to consider the potential for conduct or transactions to increase innovation
or expand markets. In what would be a major change from his most recent
predecessors, we expect a greater focus on, and willingness to credit, anticipated
procompetitive benefits and benefits to the U.S. economy from merger transactions and
other conduct, particularly with regard to intellectual property and innovation.
Mr. Delrahim has taken several positions that indicate he is not rigidly ideological and
will take a pragmatic, case-by-case approach to enforcement, evidenced by his stance on
protecting innovation, his role in previous antitrust investigations during an earlier stint
at the Antitrust Division, and his experience in the political sphere.
Finally, through his prior role at the Senate Judiciary Committee and his current role in
the Trump Administration, Mr. Delrahim has more political experience and more direct
experience inside the administration than most prior antitrust AAGs. As a result, he is
likely to have a keen understanding of, and ability to navigate, the political attention and
competing agendas that major deals and antitrust investigations can—and may
While at the law firm  Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Delrahim worked as a lobbyist for Comcast, Google, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Johnson & Johnson, and Ultimate Fighting Championship.


(ht Felix Bronstein)

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