The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun an initial review of a partnership between Microsoft and ChatGPT maker OpenAI. announced on Friday.
The CMA said it is asking each company and interested third parties to comment on whether the partnership “has given rise to relevant merger circumstances” “including recent developments”.
Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI and secured a non-voting position on the artificial intelligence (AI) company's board of directors.
The call for comments is the first part of the regulator's information-gathering process and occurs before a formal investigation begins.
The update marks the first public action taken by a global regulator to investigate the partnership between the two companies.
Microsoft made a significant investment in OpenAI earlier this year and is incorporating ChatGPT into Microsoft tools, including the Bing search engine.
Last month, Microsoft non-voting position OpenAI was founded and CEO Sam Altman joined the OpenAI board as part of a new deal to bring him back after he was abruptly ousted by the previous board.
Mr. Altman was hired by Microsoft during a turbulent period between being ousted and rehired.
The CMA will examine whether the partnership amounts to “takeover control” and whether one party has “significant influence”.
Following the announcement, Microsoft Vice Chairman and President Brad Smith said the partnership maintains the independence of the two companies and criticized rival Google's 2014 acquisition of AI company DeepMind.
“Since 2019, we have partnered with OpenAI to further accelerate innovation and competition in AI while maintaining the independence of both companies. This is very different from an acquisition such as Google's acquisition of DeepMind in the UK. We will work closely with the CMA to provide them with all the information they need. ” Smith said in a statement.
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