FTC Chair Refuses to Recuse Herself on Google-DoubleClick Deal…Well, shouldn’t the FTC itself force her hand? As a group that is supposed to be looking out for the interests of the Citizens of this great country — shouldn’t they force her hand?
Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras is not going to be stopped by a couple of privacy-loving non-profits. Majoras says she will not recuse herself from the Google-DoubleClick review, despite a petition from the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy.
The “privacy-loving” groups had filed a petition calling for her disqualification on the matter earlier this week. They cited a conflict of interest. (since Majoras’ husband works for the law firm Jones Day — where Jones Day represents DoubleClick in the antitrust case in Europe. Not only that, Majoras also used to work at Jones Day.)
BOLD emphasis mine.
We don’t claim to be attorneys, but Majoras’ defense seems lame. Her argument is this: a) Jones Day has never represented DoubleClick in front of the FTC, and b) her husband is a fixed participation partner, and not an equity partner at Jones Day, so he doesn’t have a financial interest in the outcome of the case.
They are claiming there is no conflict of interest? Huh? The most obvious is that Jones Day signs her husband’s checks. And used to sign hers. But it goes so much deeper than that! If we can connect the dots, why can’t the FTC?
The FTC should not be allowing even a hint of any conflict of interest. There should be NO ROOM for doubt as to the impartiality of the Chair or the Members of the Panel which is to review a given situation, IMHO. I thought that was the FTC’s stand as well…maybe I was wrong on that??
So my questions are the following:
What’s up with the FTC allowing her to make such a claim and buying into it? …and… Is the rest of the FTC going to allow this??
Why would the FTC want to waste our tax dollars on a less than their best investigation? (Whether she is generally good at her job or not has nothing to do with perception and intent.)
Just because she believes at this moment that there were no conflict of interest doesn’t mean there isn’t a conflict of interest. And if she doesn’t see the conflict of interest, is she really the right person for the this job?
Just a few questions…
Oh, and while we are looking closely at some government type things:
A make-or-break moment for telecom immunity has arrived — after months of back-room committee-meetings, the FISA bill will finally reach the Senate floor on Monday! The clock is ticking and the upcoming votes will be critical. Email your Senator now: