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FTC continues probe of Google-Apple tie-ups

Even after Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he'll step down from Apple's board, regulators will carry on "investigating the Google/Apple interlocking directorates issue."

This was originally published at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's board but that won't be enough to curtail a probe by the Federal Trade Commission.

In a terse statement, FTC bureau of competition director Richard Feinstein said:

We have been investigating the Google/Apple interlocking directorates issue for some time and commend them for recognizing that sharing directors raises competitive issues, as Google and Apple increasingly compete with each other. We will continue to investigate remaining interlocking directorates between the companies.

Reuters reports that Schmidt's resignation would usually close an FTC investigation of interlocking boards. However, former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson is on the boards of Apple and Google.

It's likely Levinson will be forced to pick one of the companies.