Google steps up lobbying over DoubleClick deal

Documents filed with the U.S. Senate disclose the hiring of four new attorneys, including a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's antitrust division, to push for approval by antitrust regulators.

As it awaits the green light from federal antitrust regulators, Google disclosed this week in a government filing that it is putting new lobbying muscle, including a former high-ranking Justice Department antitrust lawyer, behind its proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of online ad-tech company DoubleClick.

According to documents dated Thursday, the company has brought on four attorneys from the Washington D.C. branch of the law firm Brownstein Hyatt & Farber, including Makan Delrahim, who was appointed deputy assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division in July 2003 and shifted to private practice about two years later.

In a section on the lobbyist disclosure document labeled "specific lobbying issues," the company lists "DoubleClick transaction." The filing was reported earlier on Friday by the Associated Press.

The other attorneys listed on the form--Alexander Dahl, James Flood and Alfred Mottur--have significant experience either with the Justice Department, key U.S. Senate committees, or in some cases, both, according to their biographies at the Brownstein Hyatt & Farber Web site.

Google's move arrives as federal authorities have announced an antitrust investigation into the massive deal, which has already an uproar from consumer privacy advocates and concern from the search giant's rivals. But Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a speech earlier this week that he expects the deal to close by year's end despite the probe.

 

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