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Federal Trade Commission Investigating Apple-Google Ties

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The New York Times reports that the Federal Trade Commission has begun an inquiry into the close ties between the board of directors at Apple and Google.

The reason for the inquiry stems from the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 which prohibits the participation on the board of two rival companies when it would reduce competition.
Antitrust experts say the provision against “interlocking directorates,” known as Section 8 of the act, is rarely enforced. Nevertheless, the agency has already notified Google and Apple of its interest in the matter, according to the people briefed on the inquiry, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because the inquiry was confidential.
Apple and Google, of course, are becoming increasingly competitive with Apple's move into web-services (MobileMe) and Google's move into mobile phones (Android). Apple and Google also have rival web browsers (Safari vs Chrome), photo software (iPhoto vs Picassa) and video services (iTunes vs YouTube). The potential conflict has not gone unnoticed and Schmidt has already been said to recuse himself from Apple Board meetings when the topic of the iPhone is in discussion.

Even if a conflict is found, however, The New York Times reports that it rarely leads to any major repercussions, as executives may simply choose to resign from one board if it becomes an issue.

Article Link: Federal Trade Commission Investigating Apple-Google Ties
 

amac4me

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,303
0
Time for Eric Schmidt to leave the Apple board, I sense a resignation.
 
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corywoolf

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2004
1,352
3
Apple and Google, of course, are becoming increasingly competitive with Apple's move into web-services (MobileMe) and Google's move into mobile phones (Android).

Nothing new really... iTools->dotMac->Mobile Me

and video services (iTunes vs YouTube).

iTunes (mostly directly paid for content) vs. YouTube (mostly ad based viral videos). Not really sure why Apple would integrate YouTube so much into its products if it was a threat.
 
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designgeek

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
0
"Town"
:eek: uh oh. Aren't apple's products better though? Not to get into a freeware vs payware debate... and how exactly is this reducing competition? Oh well, still <3 capitalism.
 
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hitekalex

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2008
1,624
0
Chicago, USA
:eek: uh oh. Aren't apple's products better though? Not to get into a freeware vs payware debate...

If you're talking about MobileMe vs Google Apps - then no, Apple's products are not better. Google cloud products are free, flexible and cross-platform.. while MobileMe is.. well, just the opposite.

I don't know a single person who uses MobileMe, while just about every one uses Google Apps.
 
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OrganMusic

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2008
290
1
Chicago
And yet google is highly integrated into OSX and the iPhone OS. I always wondered how long it would take someone to complain about that -- just as people complained when IE became highly integrated into Windows.
 
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zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
rival web browsers (Safari vs Chrome)... huh? Yes, I know that Safari is on Windows, as well as Chrome, but Chrome isn't on the Mac (officially).. rival? Chrome has no market share :confused:
 
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Goona

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2009
2,268
0
And yet google is highly integrated into OSX and the iPhone OS. I always wondered how long it would take someone to complain about that -- just as people complained when IE became highly integrated into Windows.

How is Google highly integrated into OSX?
 
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mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,279
1,016
Pacific Northwest
If you're talking about MobileMe vs Google Apps - then no, Apple's products are not better. Google cloud products are free, flexible and cross-platform.. while MobileMe is.. well, just the opposite.

I don't know a single person who uses MobileMe, while just about every one uses Google Apps.

Google Cloud Products for Consumer are being subsidized by Advertisement and by Commercial contracts for Enterprise customers.

Nothing is Free. Somewhere, someone is paying for your good fortune to use half-ass software via the Web.
 
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benlee

macrumors 65816
Mar 4, 2007
1,243
1
I don't see how integration=anti-competition. Don't we want our products and services to play nice together? Besides, I don't know much about the law in that regards, but from what I have read, it doesn't sound like its going to be a "we compete here and here" type of investigation.
 
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brockm

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2007
90
0
how is youtube and iTunes competing? lol they're used for completely different things.

Actually they're not competing. Rather, YouTube is serving as a storefront for iTunes now. Look up any music video on YouTube, and there is a iTunes thing that pops up for that ad, linking you to the iTunes Store to buy the song. It's not actually an advertisement. It's a feature of YouTube now. It even works for videos that simply contain a copyrighted song. It seems YouTube has some sort of audio fingerprinting technology, that will detect a song in a video and then provide an iTunes buy offer.

I'm sure that will be one of the things the FTC will be looking at, etc.
 
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This ought to prove interesting. It has the potential to impact those who, for instance, use iTunes to sync their iPhone or iPod Touch with their Gmail contacts. Oh well, I guess that's just one more reason to look at alternatives to the iPhone.

Personally I can't stand GSM so it wouldn't really be much of a product choice issue for me.
 
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designgeek

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
0
"Town"
If you're talking about MobileMe vs Google Apps - then no, Apple's products are not better. Google cloud products are free, flexible and cross-platform.. while MobileMe is.. well, just the opposite.

I don't know a single person who uses MobileMe, while just about every one uses Google Apps.

True, I forgot about Mobile me. Aren't the servers usually down? That would be a good reason to go with blogger or something of the like.
 
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motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,156
479
If most of their competing products are free, then what's the harm? I presume that this rule was put in place to prevent price-fixing collusion, but if the products are given away for free without a price to the consumer, then how can there be price-fixing? Or is my presumption wrong and this rule is in place tp prevent something else?
 
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SpitzerCR

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2009
172
0
For real not likes its a monopoly or price fixing... cause if so.. can i be the car?:D
 
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OrganMusic

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2008
290
1
Chicago
How is Google highly integrated into OSX?

Well i was exaggerating a bit, but there are lots of places like mail and safari where you can select text, ctrl-click (or right-click) and choose "search in google", or clicking an address in mail or contacts can bring up a google map etc. Google search in the upper right corner of Safari by default (though it's there in firefox too)
 
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