Consumer Watchdog: Levinson Should Quit Apple or Google Board

Google CEO Eric Schmidt may have stepped down from his position on Apple's board of directors, but the consumer rights group Consumer Watchdog thinks it's time for Arthur Levinson to step down, too. Mr. Levinson, Genentech's former board chairman, also serves as a member of Apple and Google's board of directors.

According to the watchdog group, "Genentech Board Chairman Arthur D. Levinson should quit as a director of either Internet giant Google or Apple to avoid antitrust violations."

Mr. Schmidt resigned from Apple's board of directors on August 3 over potential conflict of interest concerns since Google's Android and Chrome OS projects overlap -- and potentially compete with -- Apple's iPhone and Mac OS X.

"It took Eric Schmidt far to long too realize that the two roles are incompatible. That's not surprising considering the clubby atmosphere of Silicon Valley," commented Consumer Watchdog consumer advocate John M. Simpson. "Nonetheless, we're glad Schmidt finally did the right thing. We call on Levinson to act responsibly and choose one company or the other."

Mr. Levinson has not commented on whether or not he plans to step down from either company's board of directors.