Apple board member resigns his position as a Google director

Apple board member Arthur Levinson has announced his resignation from Google.

Following the resignation of Google chief executive Eric Schmidt from the Apple board in August, Levinson has resigned his director position.

Mr Levinson, who is also chairman of biotech company Genentech, had been a Google board member since April 2004. Former US vice-president, Al Gore, is the last remaining link between the two companies as he serves on the board of Apple and is an adviser to Google.

John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog, said: “We're pleased that Arthur Levinson finally realised that serving on both Google's and Apple's boards were untenable. It took too long, but he finally did the right thing.

Consumer Watchdog, a non-partisan, non-profit advocacy group, had called for the former Genentech chief executive to resign from one of the boards in August, when Google Chairman Eric Schmidt stepped down from the Apple board, according to Reuters.

BBC News reported that the move was welcomed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which has been probing overlapping board memberships as under US law, no-one is allowed to serve on the boards of two companies which are direct rivals. The FTC had been investigating whether Apple and Google had violated anti-trust laws by sharing two directors.

FTC chairman John Leibowitz said in a statement that both firms and Mr Levinson "should be commended for recognising that overlapping board members between competing companies raise serious anti-trust issues".

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