Google is really having a hard time escaping antitrust concerns. Last year, it was the nonexclusive search advertising deal with Yahoo. Last week, it was the nonexclusive book settlement. Now, it’s the relationship it has with Apple.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Genetech CEO Arthur Levinson both sit on the boards of Google and Apple. Schmidt has to leave the room when Apple talks iPhone because of Google’s competing Android mobile platform.
At issue is Section 8 of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which has a provision against “interlocking directorates.” Under the Act, it’s only a problem if the two companies in more than 2% of either companies’ sales.