The Senate Judiciary Committee has set Jan. 10-11 for the confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Justice Department as attorney general.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) had signaled he planned to hold a hearing before inauguration day on Sessions' nomination.
Sessions is a member of the committee.
Justice could be the only agency officially vetting the proposed $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner deal ($100 billion including debt). Justice reviews mergers for antitrust issues, while the FCC does a deeper dive on public interest impacts.
It is not yet clear whether AT&T and Time Warner will submit the deal to the FCC or find a way to get out from under the transfer of satellite licenses that necessitates that review.
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, a leading contender for interim FCC chair and perhaps permanent chair, worked with Sessions when Pai was on the Senate Judiciary Committee and has called him "a good man and a superb senator: honorable, thoughtful, devoted to the Constitution, and deeply committed to equal justice and the rule of law."