Google’s new OS could end up being a very bad thing for it and Apple. It seems that the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is becoming increasingly concerned over the way Google and Apple share board members.
You see the issue is that Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt sits on Apple’s board. Now you would think that is nothing big; but you would not be correct the problem is that both Google and Apple make software for Smart Phones. And while Schmidt claims he does not sit in on board meetings that cover the iPhone it still represents a basic violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Laws, most notably Section 8. In section 8 they cover companies with interlocking directorates.
The iPhone is not the only place the Google and Apple compete in though. They compete in Browsers, online media and even cloud based solutions (Google apps and Mobile Me).
Now that Chrome has been announced the question is even more prevalent in the minds of the FTC. After all according to Section 8 of the Sherman Anti Trust laws if a company has shared directors and the products they compete over represent more than 2 percent of revenue. Now Apple makes more than 2 percent of its revenue from the iPhone so you can see where this is going.
But the fun does not stop there; Google and Apple might also be guilty under Section 5 as they could be engaging in unfair methods of competition. After all Google Maps made its way onto the iPhone OS, and Google is the one and only search engine for the Mobile Safari Browser.
The ongoing investigations into the Google Apple connection should be enlightening to say the least. Of course all that has to happen to prevent litigation is for Schmidt to resign from the Apple board. This means that it is very unlikely that there will be any real legal action or fines levied in this instance.
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