09 November 2016 – President-elect Donald Trump’s merger enforcement policy could follow one of two trajectories, in part dependent on how much emphasis he places on the issue, said antitrust attorneys with political experience.
While Trump ran his campaign channeling anti-establishment and anti-big-business populism, it is hard to predict whether he will pursue such positions as president or revert to a more traditional Republican laissez-faire antitrust policy, said A. Douglas Melamed, professor at Stanford Law School who served in the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) antitrust division during the Clinton Administration in the 1990s.
“It’s a big mystery [which one] will prevail,” said Seth Bloom, president of Bloom Strategic Counsel and former general counsel for the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee.
David H. Evans, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren who has written about the presidential campaign and antitrust policy, echoed those sentiments. He added, “there are no real meaningful statements on his enforcement goals. While he’s identified new and interesting ways of enforcing the antitrust laws, they don’t have the same depth as Clinton had via her website and the [Elizabeth] Warren speech.”
Charles “Rick” Rule, a partner at Paul Weiss and former head of DoJ’s Antitrust Division under President Ronald Reagan, agreed and added...