Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt is taking a government inquiry into his role on Apple Inc.'s board in stride, expressing confidence that the probe won't find any evidence that the ties between the two companies throttle competition in mobile phones and other technology fields.

In a media session held Thursday before Google's shareholders meeting in Mountain View, Schmidt said he hasn't considered stepping down from Apple's board because he doesn't view the maker of the iPhone, iPod and computers as a "primary competitor." He echoed that sentiment when a shareholder later asked him to step down from Apple's board to avoid further government scrutiny.

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