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FTC Chairman Leibowitz Commends Levinson for Resigning Google Board Seat

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz gave a shout-out to Gentech CEO Arthur Levinson for resigning his seat on the Google board.

He had been a member of the boards of both Google and Apple. The FTC has been investigating the overlapping memberships of those two boards. In August, Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple board.

"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," said Leibowitz. "Beyond this matter, we will continue to monitor companies that share board members and take enforcement actions where appropriate."

It is unclear whether either resignation is related to the decision by Apple to reject Google's request to offer its "Google Voice" application, which allows a user to make unlimited free domestic calls and send unlimited text messages, in Apple's iPhone App Store. The move drew the attention of the FCC, which sent letters to Google, Apple and carrier AT&T asking for more info.

When Shmidt resigned, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had cited the increased competition between Google and Apple now that Google has developed a new browser, Chrome, and is promoting Android, an open operating system for mobile phones.

Glen Dickson contributed to this story.