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AI Boom to Fuel Anticompetitive Behavior in Big Tech, Warns German Antitrust Chief

 |  June 26, 2024

The surge in advanced artificial intelligence tools is poised to act as a “first-class fire accelerator” for anticompetitive practices among Big Tech firms, Germany’s leading antitrust official cautioned on Wednesday.

Andreas Mundt, the head of Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, issued this stark warning amid increasing scrutiny of AI giants such as Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia by regulatory bodies in the United States and the European Union. The concerns center on the potential for these companies to consolidate their already substantial market power.

According to Mundt, the introduction of powerful AI systems is likely to exacerbate existing issues. “AI will make all the problems only worse,” Mundt stated, expressing concerns that consumers might find it increasingly difficult to bypass Big Tech platforms in favor of alternative services.

Read more: UK To Create New Regulator To Tackle Big Tech

“There’s a great danger that we’ll see an even deeper concentration of digital markets and power increases at various levels, from chips to the front end where users interact with tech platforms,” Mundt elaborated at the Federal Cartel Office’s annual press conference, as reported by Bloomberg. He highlighted Nvidia, a key supplier of chips for training AI models, which recently briefly claimed the title of the world’s most valuable company.

Despite these concerns, Mundt noted that Germany’s antitrust authorities have not yet initiated an AI-specific investigation. However, the Federal Cartel Office is currently conducting seven active competition probes involving tech companies, including one against Microsoft. The tech giant has invested a substantial $13 billion in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

Mundt’s remarks underscore the growing anxiety among regulators about the rapid advancements in AI and their potential to further entrench the dominance of major technology companies. As AI continues to evolve and integrate into various sectors, the actions of these tech giants will likely remain under intense scrutiny to ensure competitive fairness in the market.

Source: NY Post