European Union investigating Microsoft’s $13 Billion Investment in OpenAI

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The European Union (EU) is reportedly investigating Microsoft’s substantial $13 billion investment in OpenAI for potential antitrust concerns. This partnership, along with similar alliances involving tech giants like Alphabet, Amazon, and Anthropic, has attracted the attention of global antitrust regulators. The main focus of concern is to assess the potential impact of these collaborations on market competition.

Initially, there were reports suggesting that the EU antitrust regulator had decided not to investigate the alliance under EU merger rules. However, Microsoft may still face an antitrust investigation. The inquiry would aim to determine whether this partnership hampers or manipulates competition within the EU’s internal market. It would also examine whether Microsoft’s dominant market position distorts the market through specific practices.

The European Commission is said to be leaning towards investigating whether Microsoft’s dominant market position skews the market through specific practices. However, no definitive decision has been made yet, as the EU competition watchdog continues to gather evidence. Ultimately, the commission may choose not to launch an investigation. It is important to note that despite holding a non-voting seat on OpenAI’s board, Microsoft maintains that it does not hold any stake in the maker of ChatGPT.

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While the broader antitrust scenario remains unaddressed, the commission has confirmed that it is reviewing Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI under the EU Merger Regulation. A spokesperson emphasized that in order to investigate potential competition concerns, the commission must first determine if there has been a lasting change of control.

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