In August 2006, Google CEO Eric Schmidt joined Apple’s Board of Directors. This was a time before Google decided to get into the mobile operating system sector. It was reported in the past that Schmidt was dismissed from iPhone-related meetings at Apple after Android was launched. Now the government is wondering whether Schmidt’s involvement on Apple’s board throttles competitions in the mobile phone market.
Bear in mind that YouTube and Google Maps are the default applications and Google.com is the default search engine on the iPhone. This past Thursday, Schmidt stated at a shareholders meeting that he isn’t planning on stepping down from Apple’s Board any time soon. Google does not generate enough revenue in the same market as Apple to consider Schmidt as violating antitrust law. Google makes most of their money from advertising sales.
A shareholder that asked Schmidt to quit Apple believes that Schmidt’s involvement on the board of directors may eventually cause headaches for Google. “There is no reason for it because it isn’t adding any value for shareholders,” stated Brandon Rees, a rep for AFL-CIO’s holdings in Google. “There is really nothing to gain and a lot to lose. We don’t want Google to become an antitrust devil like Microsoft did.”
A major case that Schmidt had to deal with in the past was whether a Google-Yahoo! advertising partnership would be possible. The U.S. Justice Department refused to let that sort of partnership slide so eventually it was scrapped.