Bloomberg has reported that Senator Elizabeth Warren has put a hold on the Senate confirmation vote of Makin Delrahim to head the Antitrust Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice. (here). The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Delrahim’s nomination 19-1 on June 8. As explained in the Bloomberg article, this move, if true, blocks the confirmation vote by the full Senate until at least September.
This is unfortunate news and counterproductive to Senator Warren’s stated goal of robust antitrust enforcement. Of course, Mr. Delrahim may not be Senators Warren’s choice to lead the Antitrust Division, but that is not the criteria for his confirmation. Mr. Delrahim is experienced and cares deeply about antitrust enforcement. He is well-respected in the antitrust community and has strong bi-partisan support. It is a serious handicap to effective antitrust enforcement to continue to keep the top position in the Antitrust Division vacant. The men and women of the Antitrust Division, the business community and the American consumers deserve a fully functioning enforcement agency–especially one that is responsible for both civil and criminal investigations. This delay hurts all competition law stakeholders (here).