Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 9.
This article was originally published by The Deal, a sister publication of TheStreet that offers sophisticated insight and analysis on all types of deals, from inception to integration. Click here for a free trial.
Donald Trump's remarkable victory in Tuesday's presidential election makes predicting the regulatory environment for many sectors of the U.S. economy impossible to do now.
One of those areas is merger policy. Will Trump be a typical hands-off Republican when it comes to overseeing megamergers, or will he use competition policy as a way to lash out at companies and individuals against whom he bears a grudge?
As in other policy areas, Trump's campaign trail pronouncements regarding mergers have been skin-deep and marked by contradictions and inconsistencies. But if his off-the-cuff remarks are any guide to what he'll actually do, the presumptive president-elect isn't above using antitrust policy to carry out vendettas.
In October, when he was the Republican nominee, Trump said he would block megadeals like the acquisition of Time Warner (TWX) by AT&T (T) , if elected. That the president typically claims no direct role in merger reviews, even those conducted by an executive branch agency like the Department of Justice, didn't seem to give him pause about boasting what he would do. Trump has had a long-running feud with big media companies over what he has said was blatant favoritism for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and blocking the deal would certainly be payback.