UK competition calls into question Microsoft’s role in OpenAI

LONDON, December 8 (EUROPA PRESS) – The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a consultation period with interested parties to determine whether the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI, including recent developments around the governance of the creator of ChatGPT, will lead to merger status. relevant and, if so, what impact it could have on competition in the country.

In this sense, the CMA highlighted that there had recently been a series of developments in the governance of OpenAI, some of which related to Microsoft, in light of which it considered it necessary to open this consultation period to determine whether the Microsoft/OpenAI association “has led to a relevant merger situation.” and, if so, the potential impact on competition.”

Therefore, the Authority will review whether the company has acquired control, that is, if one party has material influence, effective control or more than 50% of the voting rights over another entity, or a change in the nature of the control of one entity over another.

This consultation period, called an Invitation for Comment (ITC), is the first part of the CMA’s information-gathering process and is carried out before any formal investigation is opened in the first phase, the UK regulator has set out.

The Capital Markets Authority is closely monitoring the impact of strategic partnerships and agreements that could weaken competition, noting that the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI represents a close and multifaceted relationship between two companies with significant activities in foundational models (“Foundation Models”). ) and related markets.

“The call for comment is the first part of the CMA’s information-gathering process, and occurs before any first-stage investigation begins, which will only happen after the CMA has received the information it needs from associated parties.” Senior Director of Mergers at the Capital Markets Authority.

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At the end of November, OpenAI announced that Microsoft, the tech startup’s majority shareholder, would play a non-voting observer role on the new board of directors of the company that created ChatGPT.

The company confirmed in a statement the return of Sam Altman as CEO of OpenAI, after the struggle over the company’s leadership, which initially led to the dismissal of the businessman, as well as Mira Moratti as chief technology officer and Greg Brockman as president. .

Likewise, the company approved the composition of its new corporate board, composed of former Salesforce CEO Brett Taylor, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo, co-founder and CEO of Quora, the sole survivor of the previous directory.

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