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Apple / Google relationship being investigated for antitrust violations

Nilay Patel
May 4, 2009
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The relationship between Apple and Google has always been pretty cozy -- Mac OS X and the iPhone tie into a variety of Google services, Google's developed rule-breaking iPhone apps, we've heard endless whispers of Apple meddling in the development of the G1, and on and on. In fact, the relationship between the two companies is so tight they actually share board members: Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson take meetings in both Cupertino and Mountain View. That's apparently raised some hackles at the Federal Trade Commission, which has reportedly informed both companies they're being investigated for violating a rarely-enforced section of the Clayton Antitrust Act prohibiting "interlocking directorates" when it reduces competition. That sounds like someone at the FTC just noticed that Apple makes the iPhone and Google's responsible for Android, but nothing's set in stone yet -- and we've got a feeling Android's open-source codebase could throw a monkey wrench into an already-complex legal analysis. We'll obviously be tracking this one closely, keep an eye out.

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