Schmidt rethinking role on Apple’s board

Google CEO Eric Schmidt may be moving toward stepping down from his role as a member of Apple’s board of directors, a relationship that has come under federal scrutiny for conflicts of interest stemming from the areas in which the two companies compete.

Speaking at a press briefing at Allen & Co.’s annual conference for media and technology moguls in Sun Valley, Idaho, Schmidt said he would talk to Apple about his board seat following the unveiling of Google’s plans to launch an operating system, according to a Reuters report.

Prior to the OS announcement, the Federal Trade Commission had opened an inquiry into Schmidt’s role on the board of a company that already competed with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) in mobile (iPhone v. Android OS) and Web browsers (Safari v. Chrome).

Now that Google is developing an operating system geared for netbook computers, the two companies seem headed for competition in a more fundamental level.

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