(qlmbusinessnews.com Fri. 7th June, 2024) London, UK —

“AI Industry Faces Antitrust Probes: US Regulators Investigate Nvidia, Microsoft, and OpenAI”

US regulators are intensifying their scrutiny of major players in the artificial intelligence industry, focusing on potential antitrust violations by Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have reportedly agreed to investigate these companies, with the finalisation of this arrangement expected soon.

The DoJ will examine Nvidia, the leading producer of chips essential for AI training and operation, to determine if it has breached antitrust laws designed to promote fair competition and prevent monopolies. Concurrently, the FTC will investigate OpenAI, known for its ChatGPT chatbot, and Microsoft, which is a significant investor in OpenAI and a major supporter of other AI firms.

Additionally, the FTC is probing whether Microsoft structured a recent deal with startup Inflection AI to circumvent antitrust regulations. In March, Microsoft hired Inflection’s CEO and co-founder, UK entrepreneur Mustafa Suleyman, to head a new AI division and agreed to pay $650 million (£508 million) to license Inflection’s AI software.

The FTC’s interest in the AI market is not new. In January, it requested information from OpenAI, Microsoft, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Amazon, and startup Anthropic regarding recent investments and partnerships in the generative AI sector. The FTC also began investigating OpenAI last year over allegations that it violated consumer protection laws by endangering personal data and reputations.

Jonathan Kanter, head of the DoJ’s antitrust division, emphasised the urgency of examining the AI sector, noting the need to address potential “monopoly choke points” and the overall competitive landscape. Kanter stated that regulators must act swiftly to prevent powerful tech companies from dominating the market.

AI Giants Microsoft OpenAI and Nvidia

These developments coincide with Nvidia's valuation surpassing $3 trillion for the first time, overtaking Apple.

Rebecca Haw Allensworth, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, highlighted the increased collaboration between the DoJ and FTC under the Biden administration. She noted that this cooperation reflects the significance of the AI market and the agencies’ shared commitment to tackling anticompetitive practices in this rapidly evolving sector.

Microsoft expressed confidence in its compliance with antitrust laws regarding the Inflection agreement. Representatives for the FTC, DoJ, Nvidia, and OpenAI declined to comment.

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