EU greenlights Microsoft's $13 billion investment in OpenAI, deal still under the radar

Could be investigated by UK's Competition and Markets Authority

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EU approves Microsoft's investments in OpenAI

In a major relief for Microsoft, EU antitrust regulators have decided not to proceed with a formal probe into the $13 billion investment the Redmond-based tech giant made in OpenAI.

This comes after the regulators came to the conclusion that the $13 billion Microsoft put into OpenAI is an investment, not an acquisition and that the former doesn’t control the latter, negating the need for an investigation, at least for now.

In an email to Reuters, an EU spokesperson said,

The Commission had been following very closely the situation of control over OpenAI before the recent events involving its management. We are checking whether Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI might be reviewable under the EU Merger Regulation.

The investment came under the scanner after sudden reshuffling at OpenAI, which led to its CEO, Sam Altman, being fired. At the time, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, spearheaded the negotiations that ultimately led to Sam Altman getting reinstated as the CEO of OpenAI.

Reports suggest that Microsoft wanted Sam Altman to lead the AI team, but after his return to OpenAI, the tech giant went ahead with Mustafa Suleyman.

Microsoft isn’t completely off the hook yet. A report in Reuters suggests that with pressure mounting, Microsoft could still face an investigation by the EU antitrust regulator.

Besides, the investments are also under the radar of authorities in other regions, as well as the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK. The latter is primarily concerned with the deal’s impact on market competition.

Undeterred by these developments, Microsoft’s push for generative AI continues globally, from introducing AI in manufacturing to its $1.5 billion investment in G42 targeting Middle Eastern and African regions to funding AI-based startups worldwide.

Besides, to aid its expansion plans, Microsoft is planning to acquire 1.8 million AI chips to power the infrastructure.

What do you think about the EU’s decision to greenlight Microsoft’s investments in OpenAI? Share with our readers in the comments section.

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