FTC Launches Probe into Apple, Google Ties

Apple and Google have fallen under the watchful eye of the Federal Trade Commission for potentially violating anti-trust laws. The two companies are being investigated because two Google's board members also serve on Apple's board, which could be a violation of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, according to the New York Times.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Arthur Levison serve on Google and Apple's board of directors. The law prohibits someone from serving on the boards of competing companies.

Since companies both are involved in smartphone technologies, Web browser applications and Web-based services, the FTC wants to know more about the board member cross-over. The government's concern is that the two companies could collaborate to form an abusive monopoly.

If the FTC decides there is an issue with Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Levison's dual positions, the easy solution is for them to step down from either company's board.

So far neither company has commented on the investigation.