Feds Still Probing Google, Apple Links

Federal Trade Commission still wonders if companies are too close, Federal Communications Commission wonders if they're not close enough

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Aug 4, 2009  |  Updated 3:45 PM CDT
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Feds Still Probing Google, Apple Links

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Al Gore is pals with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, while still drawing a paycheck from nominal rival Google.

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt's departure from the board of Apple Computer wasn't enough to stop an investigation into anti-competitive practices by the Federal Trade Commission.

For instance, Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson still serves on both the board of Apple and Google. Intuit chairman Bill Campbell and former Vice President Al Gore serve on Apple's board and as senior advisors to Google.

"We will continue to investigate remaining interlocking directorates between the companies," promised the FTC.

Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission is looking into how Apple runs its iPhone App Store after complaints over applications that weren't accepted -- including Google's. Apple rejected a Google Voice app in a move that most believe was sparked by fears that Google's telephony software would compete with Apple partner AT&T's wireless services.

The FCC is worried that Apple's decisions may not be promoting "a competitive smartphone marketplace."

So on the one hand, a federal agency worries Apple and Google are too friendly; while another feels they may not be friendly enough.

Jackson West figures this all must make Microsoft cackle with glee.

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