The UK regulator will investigate the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI

The UK regulator will investigate the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI

The CMA will examine whether the partnership resulted in an “acquisition”.


Antitrust Regulatory Body UK said this Friday (8) that it would examine whether to launch an investigation into the multibillion-dollar partnership Microsoft with OpenAIDeveloper ChatGPTFor the second time this year, it rates the performance of US software companies.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the analysis would consider whether the partnership resulted in an “acquisition of control” (CMAIn its summary in English) this Friday.

For the second time this year, the regulatory body has examined competition issues related to the operations of North American software companies. The CMA said it would review whether the partnership with OpenAI created a merger situation before deciding on any official investigation. “Recently, there have been several developments in the governance of OpenAI, some of which involve Microsoft,” the CMA said.

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“In light of these developments, the CMA is now issuing an ITC (Invitation for Comment) to determine whether the Microsoft/OpenAI partnership, including recent developments, has resulted in a material combination situation and, if so, a potential impact on competition.”

The pace at which the use of artificial intelligence technology is growing is unparalleled in economic history, while advances in powerful foundational models such as ChatGPT mark a pivotal moment in the development of this transformative technology, CMA said.

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The move follows an announcement in November that Microsoft, which has pledged to invest more than $10 billion in OpenAI, will take a non-voting position on the company’s board. It followed a tumultuous boardroom battle that saw OpenAI’s chief executive and founder abruptly leave and return. Sam Altman.

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Microsoft owns 49% of the company, according to sources familiar with the matter. OpenAI has a nonprofit parent that owns 2%, these sources said.

“The only thing that has changed is that Microsoft now has a non-voting audience on the OpenAI board, which is very different from when Google bought DeepMind in the UK,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a statement. Criticized his main rival.

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He said the company would work closely with the CMA. OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Observer status means that a Microsoft representative can attend OpenAI board meetings and have access to confidential information, but does not have the right to vote on matters including elections or the selection of directors.

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