On August 3, the Federal Trade Commission said it will continue to investigate the relationship between the boards of Apple, Inc. and Google, Inc. even after Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, resigned from Apple’s board earlier in the day.
Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, commended both companies for “recognizing that sharing directors raises competitive issues, as Google and Apple increasingly compete with each other.” However, he indicated that the investigation regarding the remaining interlocking directorates between the companies is still open despite the resignation of Mr. Schmidt. The FTC has been investigating the Google-Apple relationship because the two companies increasingly compete with each other in markets such as smartphones and operating systems.
Arthur Levinson remains a director of both companies. The dual position could be one reason why the FTC is continuing on with its investigation. The other reason is to keep the investigation going is that the FTC may want to negotiate a settlement agreement that would prohibit certain future ties between the companies.