Mutt Media | Daily Bone 7.13.09 Google & Apple: Share-Share. Is that fair?

So, forgive me if I bore you with some of last weeks’ news, but I’ve been on holiday and not in touch. There are some things in the news that I would’ve blogged about in Real Time but sometimes vacation trumps work, and that’s a good thing, right?

So, first off, our friends at Google, in the midst of executing their plan for world domination and data-collection, have announced they will be releasing their own Operating System called Chrome. At first blush, I am excited about this, for a couple of reasons.

Google does seem to get it right. Their services are useful and free – two features I always find pleasing. I like anything that works and doesn’t stress me out, as I am a simple girl. Their analytics and other applications function well and play nice with my MacBook. Life is good. Yay Apple & Google.

My husband is engaged in a brutal war at the moment with his new laptop that is running Windows Vista, an operating system that doesn’t play well with others. He needs to run a certain software for his business and Vista just won’t cooperate. Updates, tech support, patches and lots of nonsensical work-arounds have kept my husband up at night and his staff has logged hours trying to trouble shoot for him to no avail. He’s had to wipe out the hard drive and reinstall programs, download updates that in the end, set his efforts back and just yesterday, his laptop shot off a really low blow: just crapped out. During one of the mind-bending downloads and installs, during step 3 of 3, the screen goes dark but for 3 lines that read, “Running Step 3 of 3. 0% complete. Do not shut down your computer.” And so he waited and waited. Still 0% complete 45 minutes later but the graphics are moving like something is happening. But nothing does.

I used to work off of a Windows PC. You don’t realize how much of a nightmare it is until you switch to a Mac. I swear ONCE YOU GO MAC YOU NEVER GO BACK. (Knock on wood) My Mac & I do not have to battle resistant, mutating viruses, updates go off without a hitch and all of my programs load like butter. Going on 2 years together and so far, it’s a match made in compuer heaven.

So, my point? Let’s take a look behind the scenes to see why my Mac (Apple) and Google apps work so well together. The common denominator here could be that they share a CEO named Eric Schmidt and another Board Member name Arthur D. Levinson, the CEO of Genentech.

Is this a conflict? Does this fly in the face of anti-trust laws, which are in place to safeguard against possible collusion between companies (and world domination).

An article in the Global edition of the New York Times from last Friday by Brad Stone speculates that the “Chrome Operating System is likely to create more questions for regulators”. Yep, this alliance is already on the radar of the Federal Trade Commission with the investigation going on for the last several months.

Under section 8 of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act specific limits are placed on the sharing of information between companies by common board members.

In the case of Schmidt and Levinson, both claim to recuse themselves during portions of the Board Meetings when the discussions turn to tricky topics.

Where is the overlap? Well, Apple makes the IPhone and Google has the Android Software (see YouTube video for info on Android and the “G Phone” below), Apple has ITunes and then there’s YouTube, Apple has the Safari Browser and now here’s Google with Chrome.

In the end, the FTC will decide whether these relationships are problematic. It all comes down to what percentage of the overall business is affected.

I don’t care. I just love my MacBook and my Google. Can’t we all just get along? (hello Microsoft!)

Then maybe my poor husband will get some sleep.

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