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European Commission: Microsoft’s billions of investments in OpenAI do not violate antitrust laws – IT Pro – News

The European Commission has concluded that Microsoft did not violate antitrust laws with its billion-dollar investment in OpenAI. The European Commission has been investigating whether Microsoft acquired control of OpenAI, but it appears that this is not the case.

In recent months, the European Commission has been investigating whether Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI was a disguised acquisition. The tech giant invested a total of around €13 billion in the ChatGPT maker, taking a 49 percent minority stake. Microsoft also took a seat on the board. The European Commission fears that this would give Microsoft control of the company, without formally acquiring OpenAI. The tech giant would thus avoid merger investigations by regulators. The Commission launched an investigation into the investments in January to see if that was the case.

The European Commission has now concluded “after a comprehensive investigation” that Microsoft has no control over OpenAI, it says. European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager In a letter. So no investigation into the merger will be opened. The European Commission says it will tighten its oversight of cooperation between the two companies. For example, the regulator still wants to know whether some exclusivity clauses between the two companies could have a negative impact on competition.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority and the US Federal Trade Commission are still conducting an exploratory investigation into the $1 billion investment. According to The New York Times, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans to launch a formal antitrust investigation into the matter. The US regulator reportedly suspects that Microsoft could exert too much influence over OpenAI’s emerging AI technology through its minority stake.

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The European Commission also has outstanding questions with Google and Samsung, Vestager said in the same letter. The Commission wants more information about the agreement concluded by the parties, under which Samsung will pre-install Google’s Gemini nano model on Galaxy S24 devices. The European Commission wonders whether this deal will make it difficult for smaller AI developers to reach Samsung users.