Yahoo! and Microsoft are expected to testify at a congressional autumn hearing to look at user privacy policies.

According to MarketWatch’s John Letzing, the two search engine companies could be asked to attend the subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection.

DJN states that some of the focus of the hearing directed towards Google’s planned acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick.

Yahoo! spokesman Jim Cullinan said that that the company expected to participate in the hearings, given that they had originally been invited to a similar hearing this week that has subsequently been postponed.

Earlier this month the Associated Press (AP) reported that BEUC, a European consumer group, had called for the acquisition to be investigated, stating that the buy-out damaged European privacy rights and limited consumer choices.

Cornelia Kutterer, BEUC’s senior legal adviser told the AP: "They have so far complementary databases with private data. If they merge them, this could lead to unmatched databases of profiles. If they can combine them, this could lead to a violation of user privacy rights."

The AP also reported that the BUEC said: "Never before has one single company had the market and technological power to collect and exploit so much information about what a user does on the internet."

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