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Jones Day’s Web site caused a stir last week. Due to what one partner says was an inaccuracy on the firm’s site, two privacy groups called for the recusal of the Federal Trade Commission’s chairwoman, Deborah Platt Majoras, from the agency’s review of Google’s proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick Inc. The Web site said Jones Day was advising DoubleClick on the deal in both the United States and overseas. The groups said that created a conflict of interest because Majoras, a former firm partner, is married to Jones Day antitrust partner John Majoras, and because the couple would benefit financially from the merger. Jones Day soon removed the offending information, which caused rampant speculation in online media about what the firm was hiding, especially after the data was retrieved anyway through Google’s cached material. Jones Day is advising DoubleClick in its European merger discussions but not in the United States, where Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has the account. John Majoras says that he has never done any work for DoubleClick and that Jones Day has not represented the company before the FTC on this matter. He says he’s taken steps to avoid possible conflicts, noting that he relinquished his equity in the firm’s partnership in 2006. On Dec. 14, Platt Majoras, after consulting with the FTC’s ethics officer, decided against recusing herself from the review.
Attila Berry can be contacted at [email protected].

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