Blog Post

Hey Apple: It's Time for Eric Schmidt to Go

2218489999_4bcc6e039cEnough is enough. It’s time for Eric Schmidt to resign from Apple’s board. Sure, Apple (s aapl) and Google (s goog) have a common enemy in Microsoft, (s msft) so at one time it made sense for Google CEO Eric Schmidt to have a seat on Apple’s board of directors. But Apple and Google are competing on more and more fronts, Android and Chrome OS being among the most prominent examples.

The FTC apparently agrees, as it’s reportedly looking into whether the fact that Schmidt sits on Apple’s board is anticompetitive. When news of the inquiry was first reported back in May, Schmidt told reporters that he didn’t think “Google [saw] Apple as a primary competitor.” In Sun Valley yesterday, following the Chrome OS announcement, Schmidt said, “I’ll talk to the Apple people. At the moment, there’s no issue.” Google’s general counsel, meanwhile, has argued that there’s a “safe harbor” provision in the antitrust laws for companies that don’t have overlapping revenue.

Well, Google doesn’t really make any revenue outside of advertising, so there’s no risk of overlap there. But they are competing with the following:

  • Android vs. iPhone
  • Google Chrome OS vs. Mac OS X
  • Chrome vs. Safari
  • Gmail vs. MobileMe
  • Picasa vs. iPhoto/MobileMe
  • Google Calendar vs. iCal
  • Google Docs vs.

Schmidt began recusing himself from meetings at which the iPhone was being discussed after Google launched Android. Does that mean he’s going to start recusing himself from meetings at which the topic is Mac OS X? Or Apple’s Internet strategy? So what’s the point of him being a director? (C/Net has made these points in a post last week. Fake Steve Jobs does a great job of breaking things down in a classic and must read post.)

Come on, Apple. Being friendly with other companies is all well and good — but by having Schmidt on the company’s board, Apple is opening itself up to more antitrust inquires from an unfriendly Department of Justice and the FTC (even if Google and Apple employees overwhelmingly donated to the Obama campaign). Eric Schmidt, it’s time to go.

Or just merge the companies and get it over with. Goople has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Photo courtesy World Economic Forum

9 Responses to “Hey Apple: It's Time for Eric Schmidt to Go”

    • Actually that is not true — C/Net has been on it. And just because he raised the point before hand, it doesn’t make it any less serious. it is pretty clear it is time for Apple to kick him out. that is something the apple shareholders should complain about and not steve jobs health condition.

  1. Brett Glass

    It’s also time for Schmidt to resign as Chairman of the DC Lobbying group the New America Foundation. As a result of Schmidt’s chairmanship and injection of millions of Googlebucks, it’s astroturfing for Google and has lost any credibility it once might have had. (Not that DC lobbyists have much to start with.)

  2. Android and iphone are absolute competitors. If one is used or distributed the other is not. These companies are now major competitors. It’s pretty clear. Also, why does Eric Schmidt care? He’s a billionaire.

  3. With the *possible* exception of Android/iPhone — who thinks Apple and Google actually compete on any of the list of products above? Show of hands?