Justice Department’s Google inquiry loses top antitrust official

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Justice Department’s head of antitrust, Makan Delrahim, has recused himself from the department’s investigation into Google over a conflict of interest, The New York Times is reporting. The conflict of interest reportedly stems from Delrahim’s previous work as a lawyer, when in 2007 he was contracted to lobby on behalf of the search giant’s acquisition of the adtech company DoubleClick.

In a statement, the Justice department confirmed the move to the NYT. “As the technology review progressed, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim revisited potential conflicts with previous work with the Department of Justice’s ethics office,” a spokesperson said, “He and the ethics office have decided that he should now recuse himself from a…

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