Microsoft to invest €4 billion in French cloud and AI infrastructure

The announcement is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to attract foreign companies and establish France as a financial hub for the EU.

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Microsoft Corp. is set to embark on a €4 billion ($4.3 billion) venture to construct cloud and AI infrastructure in France, marking its latest major commitment to AI technology. The American tech giant aims to train a million individuals and bolster 2,500 startups in this European country by 2027, as stated in an official announcement. Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled a strategic partnership and a €15 million investment into Mistral AI, a Paris-based startup competing in the AI domain alongside OpenAI.

France has emerged as a focal point for AI development, drawing substantial national funds and support from local magnates for initiatives like Mistral and Kyutai, a newly formed AI research nonprofit. Microsoft’s announcement aligns with President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Choose France’ summit, which seeks to entice foreign enterprises and position France as a financial epicentre within the EU. Concurrently, another American tech titan, Inc., has pledged €1.2 billion towards infrastructure and computing, with 56 projects slated for announcement during the event, according to the Elysee.

Microsoft is investing significantly in its Azure cloud platform and associated AI tools. Following a €3.2 billion investment in Germany in February, the company injected $1.5 billion into the Abu Dhabi-based AI firm G42 in April. However, Microsoft’s endeavours in the cloud and AI sectors have attracted intensified antitrust scrutiny, particularly concerning its investments exceeding $10 billion in OpenAI.