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AI boom: US regulators to investigate Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, speaks during a showcase event of the company's AI assistant, Copilot.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, speaks during a showcase event of the company's AI assistant, Copilot. Copyright AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson
Copyright AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson
By AP & Euronews
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US antitrust enforcers will investigate leading AI companies Microsoft, Nvidia, and OpenAI.

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US antitrust regulators are planning to investigate Microsoft, Nvidia and OpenAI's roles in the artificial intelligence (AI) technological boom, according to people familiar with the pending actions.

The US Department of Justice will launch an investigation of chipmaker Nvidia while the Federal Trade Commission will look into business partners Microsoft and OpenAI, according to two people who were not authorised to publicly discuss details of the investigations and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Nvidia and OpenAI declined to comment on Thursday while Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The upcoming investigation was first reported by the New York Times.

US officials have signalled that they are watching for monopolies as AI advances rapidly.

Lina Khan, chair of the FTC, said earlier this year that the agency would scrutinise deals that “enable dominant firms to exert undue influence or gain privileged access in ways that could undermine fair competition".

The regulator said at the time it would open an inquiry into relationships between AI startups and large cloud computer providers.

Microsoft's relationship with OpenAI has been particularly close, supplying the smaller San Francisco company with the vast computing resources needed to train generative AI systems like ChatGPT.

The entire AI industry also relies heavily on Nvidia's specialised semiconductors to power AI applications, which has led the company's stock to soar.

In April, the UK competition regulator began inquiring into tech companies' relationships with AI startups.

The Competition and Market Authority specifically said it sought comments on the partnerships between Microsoft and Mistral AI and between Amazon and Anthropic.

The regulator said it had "not formed any conclusions on whether the deals fall within UK merger rules or raise competition concerns in the UK".

The European Commission said in January that it would check whether Microsoft's investment in OpenAI falls under the bloc's merger laws.

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