Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Meet Makan Delrahim, the Lawyer Who Leads the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice

Speaking of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter wrote a profile of Makan Delrahim:

In addition, the Antitrust Division has in recent months raised eyebrows about politicization of competition law. During the trial of a multistate challenge to the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, which federal regulators approved, text messages emerged that showed Delrahim laboring behind the scenes during the government’s review last summer to save a deal that would shrink competitors in the wireless arena, helping to arrange the sale of the two companies’ mobile spectrum to a third party, Dish Network, and offering its chairman, Charlie Ergen, advice on how to lobby the FCC and lawmakers. “Why Is the Justice Department Treating T-Mobile Like a Client?” asked a New York Times editorial in December. (On Tuesday, a judge rejected the states’ antitrust challenge and approved T-Mobile’s Sprint acquisition.)

Delrahim is notable for leading the antitrust investigations of large tech companies, disputing the AT&T and Time Warner merger, and his opposition to the Paramount Consent Decree. He has a bizarre view of antitrust law: big tech companies are scary to him, but ISPs and entertainment conglomerates — which are increasingly the same thing — are not. Oh, except for AT&T and Time Warner, which he disputed for ostensibly good reasons, only to lose that case and find that the newly-merged AT&T and Time Warner conglomerate is doing exactly what it said it wouldn’t.