The European Commission (CA) has announced a preliminary investigation Microsoft's billion-dollar investment in OpenAIthe company that created ChatGPTwith the aim of verifying whether the agreements concluded between both companies have had a negative impact on the digital and artificial intelligence (AI) market.
Specifically, the Community Executive launched two calls for competition in virtual worlds and generative AIso that experts and companies in the sector inform Brussels of any competition issues that may arise from this agreement between Microsoft and OpenAI.
Applications can be submitted until March 11th and once the deadline has passed, the requirements will be examined to “Make sure they do not unduly distort the functioning of the market«. «The European Commission is examining whether Microsoft's investment in OpenAI could be reviewable under the EU Merger Regulation“he announced in a statement.
«Virtual worlds and generative AI are developing rapidly. It is important that these new markets remain competitive and that nothing stands in the way of companies growing and offering consumers the best and most innovative products.“, has explained Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the Commission and Head of Competitionwhile added that Brussels “will closely monitor AI partnerships to ensure they do not unduly distort market dynamics«.
In addition to the case of Microsoft and OpenAI, The European Commission is investigating some of the agreements concluded between major players in the digital market and generative AI developers and vendors, as well as the impact of these partnerships on market dynamics.
The Commission's decision is consistent with that of UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)which has initiated a consultation period with interested parties to determine whether the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI, including recent developments around the governance of the ChatGPT creator, leads to a relevant merger situation and, if so, what impact this might have on the competition in the country.
The CMA has closely monitored the impact of partnerships and strategic agreements that could lead to weakening competition and noted that the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI “a close and diverse relationship between two companies with significant activities in foundation models and related markets«.