FTC still probing Apple-Google ties


Apple’s announcement yesterday that Google CEO would give up his seat on its board might have been a necessary step to avoid an ugly confrontation with regulators in Washington, but the companies are still under the microscope.

For Schmidt was but one of the companies’ shared directors.

Arthur Levinson, the chief executive of biotech giant Genentech, also serves on the boards of both Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

The Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating the ties between Apple and Google since May, issued a statement of nodding approval in response to Schmidt’s resignation, but seemed to indicate that Levinson’s dual-role was still a problem.

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

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