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- UK’s CMA announced that it has launched an inquiry into the Microsoft-OpenAI partnership.
- The British regulator is concerned that the partnership could result in a weakened level of competition.
- Microsoft boss Brad Smith then has something to say about Redmond’s competitor, Google.
UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced today that it has launched an inquiry into the Microsoft-OpenAI partnership, including recent developments.
The British regulator is concerned that the partnership could result in a weakened level of competition in the development and use of foundational models (FMs).
Microsoft’s Brad Smith, who serves Redmond’s VC, then slams competitor Google on X (fka Twitter) for its acquisition of DeepMind, saying that Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI is different as it has a non-voting observer on OAI’s board and Redmond does not have controlling ownership of the AI company.
Since 2019, we’ve forged a partnership with OpenAI that has fostered more AI innovation and competition, while preserving independence for both companies. The only thing that has changed is that Microsoft will now have a non-voting observer on OpenAI’s Board, which is very…— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) December 8, 2023
The CMA’s inquiry will focus on whether the partnership has resulted in an acquisition of control over OpenAI, or whether it has changed the nature of control already held by Microsoft over OpenAI.
“As part of its ongoing work in this area, the CMA has been closely monitoring the impact of partnerships and strategic agreements which could result in a weakening of competition in the development or use of FMs,” the governing body says.
The CMA is now inviting comments from interested parties on whether the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI has had or could hurt competition in the UK. If the CMA believes so, it will launch a full phase 1 investigation.