On October 12, 2009, Google announced that Arthur D. Levinson, the former Chief Executive Officer of Genentech and a member of the corporate boards of both Google and Apple, is stepping down from Google’s board. Earlier in the year, Apple announced that Eric E. Schmidt, CEO of Google, who had also been a director of both firms, was stepping down 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 FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Beyond this matter, we will continue to monitor companies that share board members and take enforcement actions where appropriate.”
Section 8 of the Clayton Act (“interlocking directorates”) prohibits, with certain exceptions, one person from serving as a director or officer of two competing corporations.