Google director leaves amid FTC probe

A member of Google's board of directors is leaving, the company announced today. Although Google did not give a reason for Arthur Levinson's departure, many are connecting it to the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust inquiry into the close ties between Apple and Google board members. The FTC launched the investigation earlier this year.

Levinson, former CEO of Genentech, is a corporate director of Apple and became a Google director five years ago.

Antitrust laws prohibit a person’s presence on the board of two rival companies when it would reduce competition between the firms. Google CEO Eric Schmidt had said he thought the revenue that Apple and Google recieved was less than 2 percent of either company's sales, under the Clayton Act of 1914.

Schmidt resigned from Apple's board in August.

Al Gore and Bill Campbell, former CEO of Intuit, are both Apple directors who are also advisers to Google.