AT&T wants to close its deal with Time Warner. But first, it has to go through Makan Delrahim

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The biggest corporate acquisition of the year is inching closer to resolution. With President Donald Trump's top antitrust official, Makan Delrahim, getting up to speed in his new job, many analysts predict the Justice Department could rule on AT&T's purchase of Time Warner in a matter of weeks. At this point, it seems, things could go either way. The Justice Department is still talking to the companies involved, as well as outside parties, to try to understand how the deal could affect competition. If the agency concludes the deal is no good in any fashion, it could file a lawsuit to try to block the acquisition. But the transaction could also still be approved, possibly in a modified form. The question of what the final version looks like is where it gets interesting. And a key variable in the outcome will likely be CNN, the cable channel that President Trump frequently criticizes.

Some regulators — particularly at the Justice Department — argue that behavioral remedies are a relatively intrusive regulatory tool, and that the government should use more limited forms of intervention when it can. One proponent of this idea? Makan Delrahim, the man who is now leading the Justice Department's antitrust division. In a speech recently at New York University, Delrahim made a passionate argument for limited federal intervention in competitive marketplaces. In plain English, don't try to fix what isn't broken. "Antitrust employs law enforcement principles to maximize economic liberty subject to minimal government imposition," he said. 

 


AT&T wants to close its deal with Time Warner. But first, it has to go through Makan Delrahim