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Google is laying into newly acquired subsidiary Doubleclick by laying off 300 US employees - about a quarter of its US workforce.

The number of lay-offs at the ad-serving company come from the NY Times, rather than Google, which is not talking specifics. But in a drawer statement the company is pushing out to people who ask, it notes: "As with many mergers, this review has resulted in a reduction in headcount at the acquired company."

Quite, but Google is famous for hiring, not infamous for firing. However, times are tough, and Doubleclick has by far the biggest headcount of any company that it has bought to date. YouTube, for example, bought for $1.6bn in 2006 had less than 40 employees at time of its acquisition.

Most people believe Google paid far too much for Doubleclick: staff cutbacks are one way to demonstrate to Wall Street, that the company can act as decisively and ruthlessly as, say, Oracle.

So Google has wasted little time in wielding the axe - the $3.1bn takeover completed only on March 12, after months of winding its way through US and EU regulators. Doubleclick employs another 300 people outside the US, so expect more job cuts there. ®

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