FTC to Apple, Google Boards: We’re Watching

The Federal Trade Commission says it will keep investigating the board memberships of Apple and Google despite Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s withdrawal from Apple’s board. Another boardroom interlock remains for the two companies: Genentech Chairman Arthur Levinson is on the board in both Mountain View and Cupertino. An E-Commerce Times request for response from Genentech regarding
Consumer Watchdog’s call for Levinson to step down from either Google’s
or Apple’s board was not received by press time. One point mentioned by Consumer Watchdog’s Simpson was Genetech’s
investment in 23andMe, the genetic-testing-for-consumers company
founded by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Resigns From Apple’s Board

Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s resignation today from Apple’s board underscored that it when comes to business, competition is thicker than friendship. Meanwhile, a consumer group, Consumer Watchdog, on Monday called on
Genentech Board Chairman Arthur Levinson, who sits on the boards of
Google and Apple, to quit one of them to avoid antitrust violations. In addition to conflicts that could arise from sitting on the boards of
competing companies, Genentech is an investor with Google in the
genetic testing company 23andMe run by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google
co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google Updates PageRank, Rolls Out Web Elements

However, Google has also run into some high-profile controversies over
the past few months. In April, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Consumer
Watchdog publicly questioned the settlement between Google, The Author’s Guild
and the Association of American Publishers
(AAP) over the search-engine giant’s growing
digital library. In particular, Consumer Watchdog argued that the settlement, which gave
Google the same terms as any theoretical future competitor, deserved to be
placed under government review.

Google Defends Privacy of Gmail Service

A Santa Monica, California-based nonprofit group that advocates for
consumers is calling for the Internet’s search and ad leader to change
the way it records users’ information. Officials with Consumer Watchdog say they want to see Google Inc. store
personal search data for less than its current nine months, following
Yahoo!’s lead, and also to give users a choice to “opt out” out of data
retention, as some other search engines do.