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Google Hires Former DOJ Lawyer To Lobby

Google Inc. has hired a former Justice Department official to lobby the federal government on its proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick Inc., which is being reviewed by antitrust regulators.

Makan Delrahim, a former deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's antitrust division, is one of four lawyers registered to lobby on behalf of Google, according to a federal disclosure form filed Thursday.

Delrahim, who worked at the agency between the summers of 2003 and 2005, is now a Washington-based attorney for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which was hired by the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant.

As part of its antitrust review of Google's proposed purchase of DoubleClick, the Federal Trade Commission is also likely to consider privacy issues raised by the deal, analysts say.

New York-based DoubleClick helps its customers place and track online advertising, including search ads, which Google -- more than its nearest search competitors Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. -- has turned into an extremely lucrative business.

Several privacy groups have urged the agency to consider the issue because they contend the combined companies would have access to an unprecedented amount of data on consumers' Web usage and Internet search habits.

Under a federal law enacted in 1995, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches. They must register with Congress within 45 days of being hired or engaging in lobbying.

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