Makan Delrahim

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Makan Delrahim
Makan Delrahim official photo.jpg
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division
Assumed office
September 28, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by William Baer
Personal details
Born (1969-11-02) November 2, 1969 (age 50)
Tehran, Iran
Political party Republican
Education University of California, Los Angeles (BS)
George Washington University (JD)
Johns Hopkins University (MS)

Makan Delrahim (/ˈmkən ˌdɛlrəˈhm/; born November 2, 1969) is an Iranian-American lawyer who serves as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.[1]

Early life and education

Makan Delrahim was born on November 2, 1969, in Tehran, Iran. His family are Persian Jews, and they immigrated to the United States in 1979.[2] Like many other Iranian Jewish immigrants, Delrahim's family settled in Los Angeles, California.[3] Delrahim became a naturalized U.S. citizen while in law school.[3]

Delrahim initially struggled in elementary school because he did not speak English, but he learned it quickly. His father owned a gas station outside the metropolitan Los Angeles area, at which Delrahim worked part-time.[2] He excelled in high school and was admitted to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology.[2] He also received a Specialization in Business/Economics. He then attended the George Washington University Law School, graduating in 1995 with a Juris Doctor with high honors.[2] Delrahim later earned a Master of Science in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University in 2002.

Law career

While in law school, Delrahim worked at the Office of Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health, and on intellectual property issues at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President. After law school, Delrahim joined the Washington, D.C. law firm Patton Boggs.[2] In 1998, Delrahim became a counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, working under the chairman, Senator Orrin G. Hatch.[2] Delrahim worked on intellectual property and antitrust issues, including patent reform and the investigation into Microsoft. Delrahim later became the Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, until his appointment at the Department of Justice in 2003. Jon Leibowitz, President Obama's Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, who was previously a Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee aide and worked with Delrahim, remembered him as being creative and a pragmatist.[2]

From 2003 through 2005, Delrahim served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in the administration of President George W. Bush.[4] While there, he oversaw the Division's International, Appellate and Policy sections and was the Chairman of the Merger Working Group of the International Competition Network.

Delrahim also served as a commissioner on the bi-partisan blue ribbon Antitrust Modernization Commission, serving with former Chiefs of the Antitrust Division, Sanford Litvack and John Shenefield, and ABA Antitrust Section Chair, Jon Jacobson.

After leaving the Department of Justice, Delrahim joined the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, in Los Angeles, California, where he focused his work on antitrust, intellectual property and appellate matters. His clients included Google, Apple, Anthem Inc., Qualcomm, and Zuffa.[5][6][7]

Donald Trump presidency

In March 2016, Delrahim published an op-ed in the New York Post arguing that due to the importance of future U.S. Supreme Court nominations, Republicans should not oppose, and instead should support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.[8]

After Trump's victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Delrahim was active in Trump's presidential transition. After the inauguration of Donald Trump, Delrahim became Deputy White House Counsel and assisted in shepherding United States Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch through the United States Senate confirmation process.

Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Division

In March 2017, Trump announced his nomination of Delrahim as Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division.[9][10] This role, which required U.S. Senate confirmation, entails overseeing criminal cartel enforcement as well as corporate mergers and acquisitions.[5] In September 2017, he was approved 73–21 by the U.S. Senate.[11][12] When he arrived on the job he was reportedly gifted a hat with "Makan Antitrust Great Again" written upon it, by the staff of the Justice Department.[13]

When interviewed, Delrahim emphasized that under U.S. law, a monopoly is legal as long as it does not abuse its monopoly power.[2] Delrahim has given speeches arguing that behavioral remedies in consent decrees to remedy an otherwise illegal merger are ineffective and that antitrust enforcers should instead employ structural remedies such as divestment.[14]

On November 20, 2017, Delrahim filed a lawsuit under Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 to block AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.[15] On June 12, 2018, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon rejected the government's claims and refused to block the merger.[16] Department of Justice has since appealed this outcome.[17]

On May 29, 2018, Delrahim required one of the largest structural divestitures, as a condition of approving Bayer's $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto.[18][19]


  1. ^ Barber, C. Ryan (March 28, 2017). "What to Know About Makan Delrahim, Trump's Antitrust Division Pick". The National Law Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Kang, Cecilia (April 26, 2017). "How Trump's Pick for Top Antitrust Cop May Shape Competition". The New York Times. p. A15. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Department of Justice (September 28, 2018). "Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivers Remarks at Naturalization Ceremony in Washington, D.C." Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Kendall, Brent (March 17, 2017). "Makan Delrahim to Be Trump's Pick for Antitrust Chief at Justice Department". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Bartz, Diana; Herbst-Bayliss, Svea (March 17, 2017). "Exclusive: Delrahim to head Justice Department antitrust unit – sources". Reuters. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Press |, Associated (June 1, 2007). "Google hires former DOJ lawyer to lobby on DoubleClick deal". The Mercury News. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "Senator Warren urges antitrust chief to recuse himself from Google,..." Reuters. June 12, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Delrahim, Makan (March 10, 2016). "To save the Supreme Court, vote Trump over Clinton". New York Post. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  9. ^ Kang, Cecilia (March 28, 2017). "Trump Appoints One of His Lawyers to Review Mergers". The New York Times. p. B6. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  10. ^ Pres. Nom. 249, 115th Cong. (2017).
  11. ^ "Attorney General Jeff Sessions Welcomes Makan Delrahim as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division | OPA | Department of Justice". Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "Trump's Top Merger Watchdog Approved". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Kang, Cecilia (November 10, 2017). "AT&T Deal Puts Trump's Antitrust Cop at Center of a Political Storm". The New York Times. p. B1. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Kang, Cecilia; Merced, Michael J. de la (November 21, 2017). "U.S. Sues to Stop AT&T's Takeover of Time Warner – New Tack on Antitrust – Regulators Seek Sale of Assets — AT&T Says Suit 'Defies Logic'". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  15. ^ Fung, Brian (November 21, 2017). "The Justice Department is suing AT&T to block its $85 billion bid for Time Warner". The Washington Post. p. A1. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  16. ^ Kang, Cecilia; Lee, Edmund; Cochrane, Emily (June 13, 2018). "AT&T Wins Approval for $85.4 Billion Time Warner Deal in Defeat for Justice Dept". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  17. ^ "Trump Antitrust Boss Restarts AT&T-Time Warner Fight With Appeal". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  18. ^ McLaughlin, David; Mulvany, Lydia; Kresge, Naomi (May 29, 2018). "Bayer Wins U.S. Approval for Monsanto After Two-Year Quest". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  19. ^ Press release (May 29, 2018). "Justice Department Secures Largest Negotiated Merger Divestiture Ever to Preserve Competition Threatened by Bayer's Acquisition of Monsanto". United States Department of Justice. Retrieved June 14, 2018.

External links

  • DOJ profile
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Inside the Trump White House: Iranian-American Makan Delrahim is Deputy Counsel to the President
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Baer
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division
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