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Microsoft And OpenAI's Relationship Is Being Examined By The UK Antitrust Authorities

Microsoft And OpenAI's Relationship Is Being Examined By The UK Antitrust Authorities
The creator of ChatGPT, which announced that Microsoft would have a non-voting board member, informed the British antitrust authority on Friday that it would consider whether to initiate a merger probe into the tech giant's multibillion-dollar cooperation with OpenAI.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated on Friday that the examination will take into account if the merger has led to a "acquisition of control," which results in one party having significant influence over another.
The regulator said it was examining whether the acquisition had created a relevant merger situation and that it had examined the activities of the US software giant for the second time this year.
"There have recently been a number of developments in the governance of OpenAI, some of which involved Microsoft," the CMA said.
"In light of these developments, the CMA is now issuing an ITC to determine whether the Microsoft / OpenAI partnership, including recent developments, has resulted in a relevant merger situation and, if so, the potential impact on competition."
The action follows Microsoft's declaration in November that it will assume a non-voting role on OpenAI's board.
"The only thing that has changed is that Microsoft will now have a non-voting observer on OpenAI’s Board, which is very different from an acquisition such as Google’s purchase of DeepMind in the UK," said Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith in a statement.
He indicated that the business and the CMA will collaborate closely. An instant response was not received from OpenAI regarding a comment.
Microsoft's representation at OpenAI is able to attend board meetings and obtain private information with the observer role, but it is not able to vote on issues such as selecting or electing directors.
Microsoft has pledged to fund OpenAI with more than $10 billion.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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