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US: Senator queries Delrahim on WH role in AT&T

 |  July 12, 2017

On Wednesday, a member of the Judiciary Committee, senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), said that he asked President Donald Trump’s top antitrust pick to meet to discuss any contact he has had with the White House regarding AT&T’s plan to merge with Time Warner.

Blumenthal told reporters on Capitol Hill that he requested the meeting with Makan Delrahim in the wake of a New York Times report that White House advisers battling television news station CNN mulled using a government review of AT&T’s merger plans as leverage.

Delrahim was nominated to be the assistant attorney general for antitrust at the Justice Department and is awaiting Senate confirmation. The department’s Antitrust Division will decide whether the deal is legal under US law.

“[The White House] is ethically and morally barred from intervening,” said Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “The mere threat of it is a very serious potential violation of ethics.”

Blumenthal also said that he had written to the CEOs of AT&T and Time Warner about the report.

Blumenthal’s remarks echo those of Senator Amy Klobuchar, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, who said last week in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that “any political interference in antitrust enforcement is unacceptable.”

Full Content: New York Times

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