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Microsoft and Amazon’s Strategic AI Partnerships Under UK Regulatory Review

UK probes Microsoft & Amazon's AI investments (OpenAI, Anthropic, Mistral) to see if they limit competition in the AI market.

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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has initiated an inquiry into the investments and strategic decisions made by and in the artificial intelligence (AI) startup ecosystem. The regulatory body seeks to determine if these actions could potentially stifle competition within the UK market. Specifically, the CMA is examining Microsoft's dealings with OpenAI, Amazon's partnership with , Microsoft's agreement with Mistral AI, and its interactions with Inflection AI, including the hiring of its CEO and employees.

Details of the Partnerships Under Review

Microsoft's engagement with the AI landscape includes a notable $16.4 million investment in French startup Mistral AI and the acquisition of talent from Inflection AI, with Inflection's CEO Mustafa Suleyman now leading Microsoft's AI division. This move, valued at approximately $650 million, has already attracted attention from European Commission's antitrust regulators. On the other hand, Amazon has made a significant $4 billion investment in Anthropic, following an initial $1.25 billion infusion. This entails Anthropic utilizing Amazon's cloud services and a non-exclusive agreement to host its AI models on Amazon Bedrock, a platform designed for developing applications.

Implications and Industry Responses

The CMA's investigation aims to clarify whether these tech giants' actions align with UK merger rules and assess their potential impact on competition. Both Microsoft and Amazon have expressed confidence in their with competition laws, emphasizing the competitive benefits and innovation their investments and partnerships bring to the AI sector. The CMA's call for views from interested third parties until May 9 marks the beginning of a process that could lead to a more extensive investigation, depending on the findings of the initial review.

The outcomes of this inquiry could have significant implications for the future of AI development and competition in the UK, highlighting the global scrutiny facing tech giants as they expand their influence in the rapidly evolving AI market.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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