The European Union (EU) is considering whether to conduct a review of Microsoft's investment in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. This follows a similar announcement from the United Kingdom (U.K.) last month, where they expressed concerns about the potential impact on competition posed by this tech partnership.
The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, disclosed this information on Tuesday, seeking input from relevant parties regarding competition in virtual worlds and generative artificial intelligence. They are also requesting feedback on how competition law can ensure these new markets remain competitive.
According to the commission, "The European Commission is checking whether Microsoft's investment in OpenAI might be reviewable under the EU Merger Regulation."
Both Microsoft and OpenAI have not yet responded to requests for comment.
These regulatory actions in Europe follow the recent executive changes within OpenAI, including the firing and subsequent reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman, along with the reformation of its board. As part of the boardroom shake-up, Microsoft obtained a nonvoting observer position.
Both companies have emphasized their independent operations and maintained that Microsoft does not exert control over OpenAI's activities.
OpenAI gained significant attention in late 2022 with the release of its ChatGPT chatbot. Microsoft subsequently became a major partner by investing $13 billion in the company, acquiring a 49% stake in its for-profit arm.
Interested parties are invited to provide feedback to the EU by March 11.
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