Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Behemoth and the Leviathan...

It was a bit surprising to learn today that Google boss Eric Schmidt and former Genentech boss Arthur Levinson sit on the boards of both Apple and Google. However given the disclosure its not surprising that The US Federal Trade Commission is looking into the ties between the two boards.

The New York Times said the inquiry involving Google and Apple centres on a possible breach of anti-trust laws. The Clayton Anti-trust Act of 1941 forbids a person to be on a board of two rival firms at once if it believes competition between them.

Apple and Google both offer competing web browsers (Chrome and Safari), phone systems (Android and the iPhone), then there is services such as YouTube versus iTunes. However, they have apparently work together on Gmail and Google Maps for the iPhone and what would the position be if Apple were to launch the iTouch as a media ‘killer’ player/reader and Google were to win the book settlement and become the bookseller?

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