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A Washington public interest organization has filed a federal lawsuit asking the Federal Trade Commission to disclose records related to a possible conflict of interest in Jones Day’s role in the Google-DoubleClick merger. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information action asking the agency to turn over records as part of an effort to determine whether the chairman of the FTC, Deborah Platt Majoras, should have recused herself in Google-Doubleclick merger completed last year. EPIC asserts that a possible conflict arose when Jones Day, the firm at which Majoras’ husband practices, allegedly represented DoubleClick in obtaining FTC approval for the deal. John M. Majoras is Jones Day’s global coordinator of competition law litigation. The action for injunctive relief follows a petition filed last year by EPIC with the FTC to have Majoras recused in the antitrust review of the merger. In December, Majoras refused to step down, stating that Jones Day did not represent DoubleClick, but instead represented Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners in the transaction, and that no conflict of interest resulted. EPIC included in its recusal petition last year what it asserts is an image taken from the Jones Day Web site, stating that the firm was representing DoubleClick in the Google deal. The image includes links to attorneys involved in the matter and states that Jones Day “is advising DoubleClick Inc. � on the international and U.S. antitrust and competition law aspects of its planned $3.1 billion acquisition by Google Inc.” Jones Day attorneys were not immediately available for comment. The FOIA action, filed March 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks communications between the FTC related to the participation of Jones Day and some of its attorneys. A call to the FTC for comment was not immediately returned. FTC chairman Majoras announced last month that she was leaving the FTC for private practice.

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