U.S. lawmakers are set to question Makan Delrahim, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to become the top antitrust cop in the United States. And some of the questions Delrahim may face at his confirmation hearing today could be based on a television interview the nominee did with BNN in October.

Delrahim was nominated by Trump earlier this year to head up the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  In that role, he’ll be a key figure in deciding whether big mergers are approved, including AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner, which was announced late last year.

Delrahim has rarely spoken publicly about the deal, but did so on BNN shortly after the companies announced their transaction. "The sheer size of it, and the fact that it's media, I think will get a lot of attention,” Delrahim told BNN in a television interview last October. "However, I don't see this as a major antitrust problem."

At the time, Delrahim was a Partner with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, as well as a law professor at Pepperdine University.  Earlier in his career, he served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Following Donald Trump’s election in November, Delrahim joined his transition team and in January, became Deputy Counsel to the President. 

Democratic lawmakers may take issue with Delrahim’s comments, given the broader concerns that big deals can hurt consumers.  Even Trump himself raised concerns about the deal when he was on the campaign trail, suggesting it would put “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” But in his interview – his only in-depth discussion regarding the deal – Delrahim suggested a tie up between AT&T and Time Warner would be different than combining two carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile.  “This is more of a vertical merger – content with distribution, rather than two competitors merging,” Delrahim told BNN.

No big worries in AT&T deal for Time Warner

We speak with antitrust expert Makan Delrahim, law professor at Pepperdine University in California, who says he doesn't see a major problem in AT&T's US$85-billion deal for Time Warner. Delrahim is a former chief counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department.