Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that Arthur Levinson is leaving their Board of Directors. Levinson is a Corporate Director at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and is a former Chairman and CEO of Genentech. I believe it is safe to say that Levinson’s departure has something to do with the FTC’s investigation of Google and Apple. Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from the Apple Board of Directors this past August.
Levinson’s departure from Google is effective immediately which ends his 5.5 year tenure on the Board. Levinson will continue to serve on the Apple Board of Directors where he has worked for the last 9 years.
The FTC said that they were prepared to sue Google and Apple if they did not take care of their potential conflicts of interest. “Google, Apple, and Mr. Levinson should be commended for recognizing that overlapping board members between competing companies raise serious antitrust issues and for their willingness to resolve our concerns without the need for litigation,” stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in an interview.