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Report: US Antitrust Head May Step Down In 2021

Makan Delrahim, the U.S. Justice Department’s top enforcer of antitrust laws, is likely to leave his post early in calendar 2021 regardless of the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election, Reuters reported on Thursday (Oct. 8).

Reuters said the Justice Department did not immediately provide a comment when contacted.

Delrahim was confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate in September 2017 after a delay of several months due to a move by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), The Boston Globe reported in August of that year.

Prior to that, according to his LinkedIn profile, he was deputy counsel to the president, deputy assistant to the president, a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Washington, D.C., and a staff lawyer with several high-level U.S. Senate and specialized commission roles. He holds degrees from UCLA, George Washington University Law School and Johns Hopkins University. Delrahim also taught law at Pepperdine University.

During his tenure in the Justice Department, Delrahim has expressed distaste for the longstanding practice of approving corporate mergers with conditions attached when the mergers might otherwise be rejected, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2018.

Among the recent high-profile cases in which he became involved was a civil lawsuit brought by a friend of President Donald Trump against various international professional soccer interests, alleging that they are illegally refusing to allow games to be played in the United States, the Associated Press reported last month. According to the news agency, Delrahim wrote a letter that appears to support the plaintiff’s claim.

And last year, according to Bloomberg News, Delrahim supported a successful move to let movie production houses own movie theaters for the first time since 1948.

The presidential inauguration is scheduled for Jan. 20.

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