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EU competition watchdog investigates Microsoft’s OpenAI investment



The European Union’s competition watchdog announced on Tuesday that it is examining Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT, to determine if it warrants further investigation under the EU’s merger regulations.

The European Commission is scrutinising whether Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI falls within the purview of the EU Merger Regulation.

This move is part of the European Union’s broader initiative to ensure that its regulatory framework can keep pace with the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and prevent dominant players from excluding potential competitors.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, emphasised the importance of maintaining competitiveness in new markets, inviting businesses and experts to provide insights into any perceived competition issues in the AI industry.

As part of her agenda during meetings with tech leaders in California, Vestager is set to discuss potential competition concerns with two top executives from OpenAI.

The launch of ChatGPT in November 2023 marked a significant milestone in the popular adoption of AI technology.

Microsoft’s substantial investment of $13 billion in OpenAI, along with gaining a board seat after a previous attempted coup against CEO Sam Altman, has raised questions not only in the EU but also prompted the UK’s competition watchdog to examine whether the collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI resembles a merger.

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