Two consumer groups have asked Deborah Platt Majoras, the chair of the FTC, to recuse herself from the antitrust review of Google’s purchase of Doubleclick. Majoras is married to a partner at Jones Day law firm, which represents Doubleclick.
Majoras’ husband is not directly involved in the Google/Doubleclick review according to the Jones Day website, and the firm says it’s not representing Doubleclick before the FTC. But according to the consumer groups,
Jones Day’s Web site says that it is representing DoubleClick, an online advertising services firm, “on the international and U.S. antitrust and competition law aspects” of the deal…
Majoras has recused herself in the past when the Jones Day firm was involved. In the Doubleclick review, however, her relationship to a Jones Day partner was never made public—it was only discovered by the two groups, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy, this past Monday.
(We’re not sure how that works out—if she’s announced it in the past, then wasn’t it already known? We’re curious to find out why the two groups just now noticed this detail.)