EU antitrust probe into Microsoft’s OpenAI investment nears conclusion

The EU is concerned about potential breaches of merger rules and is actively monitoring AI investments by tech giants. The scrutiny extends beyond Microsoft to other companies such as Google,, and Nvidia.

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The EU regulators are swiftly moving to conclude a preliminary investigation into Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI, according to Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief. The probe, initiated in January, aims to determine whether Microsoft’s substantial investment of $13 billion into OpenAI should undergo scrutiny under the EU merger regulations. Vestager indicated in an interview with Bloomberg TV that a resolution is forthcoming, highlighting ongoing discussions with other regulatory authorities.

Vestager emphasised that the EU authorities closely monitor Microsoft’s investments and the broader trend of large tech companies investing in AI. The scrutiny extends beyond Microsoft to include other significant AI investments from major tech firms like Google, Amazon, and Nvidia. The EU mainly ensures competitiveness and prevents anti-competitive practices in this rapidly evolving AI landscape.

Microsoft’s involvement with OpenAI represents a significant stake, with the tech giant investing in other AI ventures, such as French startup Mistral and acquiring the team from Inflection AI. This investment landscape extends to other major players like Google and Amazon, which have their stakes in AI ventures. Vestager stressed the importance of vigilance in this emerging field, characterising it as a critical area for regulatory oversight to safeguard competition and innovation in the AI sector.