UK competition watchdog probes Microsoft-OpenAI partnership

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UK competition watchdog probes Microsoft-OpenAI partnership
Credit: © Reuters.

LONDON - The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has initiated an investigation into the partnership between Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and OpenAI to determine whether it constitutes a merger situation under the Enterprise Act 2002, which could potentially reduce market competition in the United Kingdom. The CMA's probe, announced today, will examine the competitive implications of the tech giants' collaboration.

The inquiry is open for public participation, with stakeholders invited to submit their views by January 3, 2024. Interested parties can send their submissions to the dedicated email address provided by the CMA. The authority is particularly focused on how this partnership might impact competition within the AI technology sector, a field where sustained competition is considered crucial for driving innovation.

This development follows governance changes at OpenAI that have attracted scrutiny. The temporary dismissal and subsequent rehiring of CEO Sam Altman after a brief stint at Microsoft have raised questions about potential shifts in control that could influence market dynamics. Sorcha O’Carroll from the CMA underscored the importance of public feedback as a preliminary step in assessing whether further investigation into the Microsoft-OpenAI partnership is necessary.

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