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Apple Director Resigns From Google Board

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Arthur Levinson is leaving the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) board, the second person to serve on both the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Google boards to quit one of the two posts since the Justice Department began an antitrust inquiry into the overlap of directors at the companies. Levinson’s resignation comes two months after Apple announced that Google CEO Eric Schmidt was resigning from its board, citing “potential conflicts of interest.” In a statement, Levinson — a former CEO of Genentech, who had been on the Google board since 2004 — does not refer to the investigation and does not say why he is leaving now.

However, in the aftermath of Schmidt’s resignation, the FTC “commended” the companies for addressing the agency’s concerns but said the investigation would nevertheless continue. Levinson was the only person remaining who served on both boards, although there are questions about whether Al Gore’s roles as both an Apple director and as a senior adviser to Google could also represent a conflict. U.S. antitrust law prohibits directors from serving on the boards of two competing corporations, although there are some exceptions. The FTC hasn’t put out a statement today — so far.

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