Apple has hired Bruce Sewell as its new general counsel and head of legal and government affairs. He replaces Daniel Cooperman, who is retiring.
Sewell was most recently Intel’s general counsel, which means he has plenty of experience dealing with antitrust accusations. That could be helpful as critics accuse Apple of having too much control over its products. (More immediately, the Feds are also looking into Apple’s close relationship with Google.)
If Apple’s growing power in the mobile industry — particularly its dominance of the mobile app industry — continues; if Apple doesn’t eventually make the iPhone app platform more open; and if it ticks off the right opponent; it could eventually find itself on the wrong end of an anti-competitive lawsuit.
Earlier this year, the FCC investigated Google’s problems getting its Google Voice app onto the iPhone; the second Google app that Apple snubbed, citing similarities to apps made by Apple. Google CEO Eric Schmidt also resigned from Apple’s board of directors, citing the companies’ increased competition. (And no doubt, partly as a result of the government’s collusion investigation.)