THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Trump’s Enforcer: Meet the Man Who Holds Hollywood and Silicon Valley’s Future in His Hands
As showbiz scales up to battle Big Tech, Makan Delrahim, the nation’s top antitrust regulator (and a former movie producer), is becoming as influential as any mogul over Netflix, Megamergers, the Writers Guild and maybe the entire future of the entertainment business. One day last spring, Makan Delrahim was checking in on the day’s news when a story about the Oscars caught his eye. Steven Spielberg was said to be pushing the film Academy to ban from eligibility any movie that premiered on a streaming service rather than in theaters. At the time, Netflix had just won three awards for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, and the company was forced to defend its Oscars. That seemed unfair to Delrahim, 50, who in addition to leading the U.S. Department of Justice’s powerful Antitrust Division also happens to be a former movie producer. He says nobody associated with the streaming giant pressured him; he simply felt compelled to do something, so he fired off a letter to Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and warned her that the discussed restriction could amount to a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits “collusive” agreements aimed at suppressing competition. Delrahim didn’t specify how Oscars eligibility would interfere with the marketplace for movies, although it was fairly clear that he saw Spielberg’s effort as part of a plot with greater significance.
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