STANFORD, Calif. (CN) – Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple’s board of directors Monday to avoid conflicting interests as the technology juggernauts increasingly compete in the same markets. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating whether Schmidt’s role on the boards of Apple and Google would lead to anticompetitive collusion.
“We have been investigating the Google/Apple interlocking directorates issue for some time and commend (the companies) for recognizing that sharing directors raises competitive issues, as Google and Apple increasingly compete with each other,” said Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “We will continue to investigate remaining interlocking directorates between the companies.”
Schmidt had served on Apple’s board since August 2006.