DOJ media and telecoms antitrust chief lands at Kirkland & Ellis

Signage outside of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Scott Scheele oversaw many high-profile telecom and media cases while at the Justice Department
  • He joins Kirkland in Washington, D.C., as a partner

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(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice’s top antitrust lawyer handling media and communications transactions has jumped to Kirkland & Ellis.

Scott Scheele joined the firm as a partner in its antitrust and competition practice group, working out of its Washington D.C., office, Kirkland said Wednesday. He spent 26 years in the Justice Department, the last nine supervising about 20 trial attorneys as chief of the antitrust division’s media, entertainment and communications section.

During Scheele’s tenure there, the antitrust division blocked Comcast Corp’s attempted 2014 takeover of Time Warner Cable and secured numerous concessions in the 2020 merger of T-Mobile and Sprint Corp. It was unsuccessful in stopping AT&T Inc’s $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc in 2018.

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Since 2012, Scheele supervised all merger and civil conduct investigations involving media and entertainment companies and wireless and wireline telecommunications. He also oversaw the enforcement of consent decrees and was a liaison with the Federal Communications Commission.

Previously, Scheele was an assistant chief in the Justice Department’s networks and technology enforcement section, and a trial attorney in the antitrust division. He graduated from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law in 1990.

“I’m looking forward to using my DOJ experience to help Kirkland’s clients navigate antitrust concerns,” he said in a prepared statement.

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Samatha Pecora