Watchdogs: FTC Chairman Shouldn't Consider DoubleClick Deal

Say Spouse's Association With Company Creates Conflict of Interest

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WASHINGTON ( -- Consumer groups are asking Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras to recuse herself from the agency's review of Google's purchase of DoubleClick because her husband works for a law firm DoubleClick hired.
Deborah Platt Majoras
Deborah Platt Majoras Credit: AP

In a petition filed today, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy suggested that the hiring created a conflict and that the right way to handle it is to step out of consideration of the deal.

Privacy concerns
EPIC and the Center for Digital Democracy have petitioned the FTC to either oppose the merger or to put specific conditions on what Google can do with DoubleClick data to protect consumers' privacy. Ms. Majoras hasn't publicly stated her position on the deal, but she has generally favored looser restrictions on deals than some of her Democratic colleagues. Without Ms. Majoras, two Democrats and two Republicans would vote on the purchase.

An FTC aide said while Ms. Majoras is reviewing the petition, the law firm is not representing DoubleClick at the FTC, though it does represent the company abroad.
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