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EU Regulators Set to Clear Microsoft’s $13B OpenAI Investment

 |  April 17, 2024

EU antitrust regulators have reportedly determined that Microsoft’s $13 billion investment into OpenAI will not trigger a formal investigation, according to sources familiar with the matter. The decision comes as a relief for the U.S. tech giant, sparing it from potentially stringent measures that could have followed a formal European probe.

Microsoft declined to provide comment, while both OpenAI and a spokesperson for the European Commission did not immediately respond to Reuters‘ requests for comments. The European Union had raised concerns in January that the deal might require close scrutiny under EU merger rules.

The investment by Microsoft into OpenAI, which includes a non-voting position on OpenAI’s board, was clarified by Microsoft late last year as not constituting ownership of any portion of the ChatGPT maker. Despite this clarification, EU regulators had kept a watchful eye on the evolving landscape of partnerships between major digital market players and generative AI developers and providers.

Read more: UK Competition Watchdog Investigates Microsoft-OpenAI Partnership

According to reports from Reuters, while Microsoft may have dodged a formal probe in the EU, the company remains under informal scrutiny in other jurisdictions. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently weighing whether to launch an investigation into the he Microsoft-OpenAI deal’s potential impact on competition among British firms. Simultaneously, the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are reportedly contemplating similar actions.

In an effort to mitigate potential probes and bolster its standing in the AI landscape, Microsoft has been actively seeking partnerships with other AI firms. Earlier this year, the tech giant announced a collaboration with French startup Mistral AI.

Source: Reuters