enough, the pair is being investigated
by the FTC. The FTC announced today that it plans to
continue the investigation despite Mr.
Schmidt's resignation from Apple's board. Richard
Feinstein, director of the FTC's bureau of competition did praise the
pair for moving to avoid anticompetitive positions, but says the
investigation has been going on for "some time" and isn't
about to end.
While Mr. Schmidt resigned, former Genentech
CEO Arthur Levinson sits on both boards as well, so issues remain.
States the FTC's Feinstein, "We will continue to investigate
remaining interlocking directorates between the companies."
Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group which had attacked Mr. Schmidt
over the conflict of interest, commented, "(W)e're glad Schmidt
finally did the right thing. We call on Levinson to act responsibly
and choose one company or the other. "
A former FTC
antitrust attorney under the Clinton administration, who declined to
be named, says Google is in the FTC's
sights due to its dominant position in the search industry and
that probing is likely to continue. He states, "Google is
in the sights of regulators. This is just the first of many
instances where they are going to encounter regulatory scrutiny.
Federal Communications Commission is also investigating
Apple, AT&T, and Google over the rejection of Google Voice
for the iPhone. AT&T today claimed it had
no involvement in the rejection. FCC Commissioner Robert
McDowell commented on the inquiry, "Asking questions can't
hurt. Responses to the letters could be helpful."