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August 3, 2009

FTC continues to investigate Apple-Google relationship

Commends both companies for recognising interlocking directorate issues

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Trade Commission said that it will continue to probe the relationship between Apple and Google, even though Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple’s board.


Richard Feinstein, director of bureau of competition at FTC, said: “We have been investigating the Google/Apple interlocking directorate issues for some time and commend them for recognising that sharing directors raises competitive issues, as Google and Apple increasingly compete with each other. We will continue to investigate remaining interlocking directorates between the companies.”


Eric Schmidt, who has been on Apple’s board of directors since August 2006, resigned due to potential conflicts of interests between the two companies.


Former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson remains as a director of both companies. This could be one of the reasons for FTC to continue its investigation despite Eric Schmidt’s resignation.

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The FTC has been investigating whether the overlapping of the Apple and Google board of directors violates any antitrust laws.


As part of another investigation, the commission sent letters to Apple, AT&T and Google to seek details on Apple’s rejection of Google’s voice application for the iPhone.

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