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FTC launches an antitrust probe into Microsoft's deal with Inflection AI

2024-06-06 17:46 by
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Microsoft is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over its deal with Inflection AI, according to The Wall Street Journal. Back in March, the company hired almost all of Inflection AI's employees, including founders Karen Simonyan and Mustafa Suleyman, who was also a DeepMind cofounder. In addition, Microsoft paid Inflection AI $650 million to license its artificial intelligence technology.

Now, the FTC wants to know whether the companies deliberately structured the deal to avoid being the subject of regulatory antitrust review.The FTC has already sent out subpoenas to both Microsoft and Inflection, asking for relevant documents over the past two years. If it does determine that the companies entered into an agreement in a way that would give Microsoft control over the other while dodging regulatory review, then Microsoft could be fined, and the transaction could be suspended pending a more in-depth investigation.

The investigation comes as antitrust officials at the FTC and the Justice Department are nearing a final agreement this week on how to jointly oversee AI giants such as Microsoft, Google, Nvidia, OpenAI and others, two people familiar with the matter told CNN.

FTC chair Lina Khan has previously voiced concerns that the world's top tech companies could be "undermining fair competition" through their investments in AI startups which threaten to cement their control over development of the new technologies.

Inflection AI was started by DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and computer scientist Karen Simonyan in 2022. The California headquartered company created the chatbot Pi, which is designed to be an AI-driven personal assistant.

Read more -here-


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