Google Inc. said Monday that Arthur Levinson has resigned from the Internet search leader’s board, averting a potential showdown with government regulators over his overlapping job as a director for computer and gadget maker Apple Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission had been investigating whether Levinson’s double duty on the boards of both Google and Applewould lessen competition between the companies as they increasingly collide in the same markets.

The same issue had dogged Google Chairman Eric Schmidt until he stepped down from Apple’s board two months ago.

Levinson’s resignation from Google’s board takes effect immediately, ending his 5 1/2-year stint as a director. He will remain on Apple’s board, where he has been a director for nine years.

Levinson, who is also chairman of biotechnology pioneer Genentech Inc., owns a bigger stake in Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple than he does in Mountain View-based Google, according to regulatory filings.


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