I dont know who Powell is outside of the article, nor do i really care, but i dont see how 2 privately-owned companies should be required to prove "public interest" in voluntarily merging. if way over 99% of the "public" has no stake in either company, what gives you any right at all to determine if they should be allowed to do what they both agreed upon?
I am 100% for taking business out of government, and vice versa, but until we restrict government's more than willingness to regulate the types of light bulbs and toilets we can buy, you're going to have lobbyists trying to use government as a leg up on competition.
You want no business lobyists? fine. remove 99% of the regulations causing them to NEED lobbyists.