Makan Delrahim, whose confirmation for assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division is expected this week, said he would keep a close watch on possible mergers of major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Time Warner.
"Antitrust has a vital role to play in the high-tech, e-commerce economy to protect consumers. Actions by firms that threaten competition in the high-tech, e-commerce economy, whether by merger or conduct, should be investigated and pursued if the investigation uncovers an antitrust law violation," Delrahim said in written responses to senators after his confirmation hearing earlier in May, according to Axios.
Executives and investors are watching Delrahim's confirmation process closely to see how he plans to view major mergers, Axios reported.
The antitrust division oversees corporate mergers, and is reviewing potentially major merger plans including Dow and Dupont, as well as Bayer and Monsanto. AT&T's plan to buy Time Warner also is under review, according to Reuters.
Keeping industries competitive would be a vital part of his job, according to Delrahim. "To the extent that firms with market power take anticompetitive exclusionary actions to limit competition on the internet, the Antitrust Division can and should use the antitrust laws to protect that competition," he wrote according to Axios' report.
Politics will not influence Delrahim's work, he wrote: "It is important that all antitrust investigations comply with Department policies, and that political considerations do not influence the handling of particular cases," he wrote, according to Axios.
Delrahim was a veteran lobbyist who worked on President Donald Trump's transition team and he helped steer Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court confirmation, Reuters' report said.
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