The FTC has begun an investigation into possible antitrust violations caused by the often close relationship between two of our favourite companies, Apple and Google. But they look so nice together!
The biggest issue here seems to be that Apple and Google share two directors, in this case Eric E. Schmidt and Arthur Levinson. Both Schmidt and Levinson sit on the boards of the two companies, and a 1941 law prohibits such a relationship when it could reduce natural inter-company competition. The proper term for this is "interlocking directorates."
Google and Apple, of course, compete in several categories: Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari web browsers, Android and Mac OS, YouTube and iTunes, Picasa and iPhoto, and many, many more. Yet the companies' fates are intertwined, and our faithful government watchdogs want to make sure nothing untoward is happening in the union. We'll keep you updated if anything interesting develops out of the investigation. [New York Times]