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Three Tech Giants Under New Antitrust Investigations

Re-concentrating AI power.
Emily Hill
Contributing Writer
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The U.S. government is ramping up its oversight of the artificial intelligence sector by launching antitrust investigations into Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia. According to sources, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will lead the respective probes, focusing on potential anticompetitive practices by these tech giants.

This development reflects growing concerns about the concentration of power within the AI industry, which has seen substantial investments and rapid technological advancements in recent years. With the FTC examining the partnerships and investments of Microsoft and OpenAI, and the DOJ examining Nvidia, the U.S. is taking a firm stance on preventing monopolistic behaviors and ensuring fair competition.

Why it matters: The broad antitrust investigation highlights the regulators’ commitment to curbing the dominance of a few key players in the AI industry. The outcome of these investigations could reshape AI development and deployment, impacting innovation, market dynamics, and consumer choice.

  • Under the Microscope: As Microsoft’s $13 billion investment in OpenAI and its stake in Inflection AI are scrutinized, questions arise about compliance with antitrust laws and transparency in transaction reporting. Similarly, Nvidia’s dominant position as a supplier of specialized chips for AI models is on the DOJ’s radar.
  • Broader Regulatory Actions: The FTC has previously launched probes into AI partnerships involving Alphabet/Google, Amazon, and Anthropic. These investigations are part of an effort to regulate the AI market. Earlier this year, the FTC initiated a study on AI industry heavyweights, examining their investments and partnerships.
  • Industry Impact: The probes come at a time when AI technologies are significantly boosting stock prices and market valuations. Companies like Meta are also making substantial investments in AI, with Meta’s Llama model relying on Nvidia’s graphics processing units. This has contributed to Nvidia’s year-over-year revenue growth of over 250%.
  • Ongoing Concerns and Future Outlook: A recent open letter from current and former OpenAI employees highlighted these concerns, calling for stronger whistleblower protections and better corporate governance. The outcome of these antitrust probes could lead to increased regulatory oversight and potentially new rules governing AI development and use.

Go Deeper -> U.S. regulators to open antitrust probes into Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI – CNBC

U.S. to open broad antitrust probe into AI giants – Axios

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