CMA Eyes Microsoft’s OpenAI Partnership for Antitrust Concerns
Guess who’s back on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) radar? Yep, it’s Microsoft, and this time, they’re eyeing a potential tag-team with OpenAI. Microsoft’s been catching some heat lately, dealing with antitrust challenges in the UK, especially over their cloud market dominance and Microsoft Teams.
So, on December 8, the CMA drops this invite, asking for opinions on this potential Microsoft-OpenAI collab and how it might shake things up in the UK’s AI game. The CMA, they’re like the referees, making sure things stay competitive, innovative, and sustainable. Given how AI is blowing up, it’s no surprise they’re giving this major partnership the side-eye.
This first step, the Invitation to Comment (ITC), might just kick off a deeper investigation. The CMA wants to figure out if this partnership hands Microsoft more than half the control over OpenAI, or the other way around. Right now, Microsoft’s got a 49% slice of OpenAI and has tossed in a cool $10 billion.
The CMA’s mulling over whether this teamwork triggers a “relevant merger situation” under the Enterprise Act 2002. If it does, do we end up with less competition in the UK for goods or services? They’re keeping the door open for comments until January 3, 2024. After that, the CMA decides if they need to roll up their sleeves and dig deeper. It’s all about keeping the big players honest and making sure the market stays a buzzing hive of competition and innovation.