Google CEO Schmidt confident his Apple board position will withstand FTC scrutiny

“Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt is taking a government inquiry into his role on Apple Inc.’s board in stride, expressing confidence that the probe won’t find any evidence that the ties between the two companies throttle competition in mobile phones and other technology fields,” Michael Liedtke reports for The Associated Press.

“In a media session held Thursday before Google’s shareholders meeting in Mountain View, Schmidt said he hasn’t considered stepping down from Apple’s board because he doesn’t view the maker of the iPhone, iPod and computers as a ‘primary competitor.’ He echoed that sentiment when a shareholder later asked him to step down from Apple’s board to avoid further government scrutiny,” Liedtke reports.

“Google attorney Kent Walker confirmed the Mountain View-based company is in talks with the Federal Trade Commission about whether its overlapping board relationships with Apple violates federal antitrust laws. The inquiry was reported by The New York Times earlier this week,” Liedtke reports. “Both Schmidt and former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson are directors at Google and Apple.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We still do not understand why Schmidt remains on Apple’s board. Continue to work closely with Google on select projects, sure; on Apple’s Board of Directors, no.

If, for some inexplicable reason, Android wasn’t the kicker, then Chrome should have been.

Sure, he recuses himself every time iPhone comes up — which, by the way, must make for efficient board meetings: Uh, Eric, we’re about to talk about iPhone, so can you please step out…. Eric, I know we’re talking about Safari and you’re taking copious notes, recording video and audio, and snapping photos, but I have a quick iPhone question, so can you leave for a sec and shut off the camera and mics, please? …Oh, wait, call Eric back in, we’re going to talk about the Mighty Mouse and we so need Eric for that… Okay, Eric, we’re about to talk about the subsidized [REDACTED] and AT&T, which is kind of iPhone-related, so we need you to leave again… Eric, what do you think about [REDACTED]? “I think it sounds like something Google might want to do, too.” …Uh, Eric, we’re about to talk about the {REDACTED] and since you’re putting Android on netbooks, it’s probably better if you just take off early today — but, come on, if Google wants to make Web browsers and mobile device OSes, then there are simply too many conflicts of interest for Schmidt to remain on Apple’s board.

Failing that, they should at least install a personal Cone of Silence for Mr. Schmidt in Apple’s boardroom.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iSteve” for the heads up.]

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.