Google has confirmed that it is under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following anti-trust concerns arising from its board ties with Apple. But the search firm believes that it has nothing to worry about.
US anti-trust regulations prevent competing companies from having common directors, but allow an overlap if the firms compete in areas that bring in less than two per cent of their overall revenues.
Google chief executive Eric Schmidt sits on the Apple board, while former Genentech chief executive Arthur Levinson sits on both boards.
Both companies compete in areas such as the mobile market, and the FTC investigation hopes to determine the extent of this competition.
Apple's second-quarter financial results for 2009 showed that a large chunk of its revenue was down to the iPhone, reporting quarterly sales of 3.79 million units. Google, meanwhile, has argued that its Android mobile operating system is a small part of its business, which is predominantly focused on search.
"I don't think Google sees Apple as a primary competitor," said Schmidt prior to Google's annual stockholder meeting yesterday, according to The New York Times.
Schmidt added that the impending investigation would not drive him to resign from the Apple board.
However, Google's Android sales are going from strength to strength. T-Mobile UK recently announced that it had sold 100,000 Android mobile phones, also known as the HTC G1 Dream, since the device was released six months ago. Sales outstripped other T-Mobile handsets in the UK.
The FTC investigation follows the news that Google is being sued over the Android name. Erich Specht, who trades in the US as the Android Data Corp and Android's Dungeon, was given trademark rights to Android five years ago by the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and has since developed software and applications under the name.
Google attempted to achieve similar rights in October 2007, a month prior to the launch of its operating system, but this was rejected by the PTO in February 2008.
$5.1bn fine further evidence that the EU is anti-US, claims Trump
New cable will connect Virginia to France
Loon's balloons will bring the internet to remote areas of the country
New clues into the biosphere on Earth in the lead up to the emergence of animal life