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Economic News

EU to look at Microsoft-OpenAI investment as part of market probe

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 09 Jan 2024

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - The European Commission announced two calls for contributions on Tuesday, focusing on competition within virtual worlds and generative artificial intelligence (AI), particularly Microsoft's investment in ChatGPT developer OpenAI.

Interested stakeholders were asked to share their experiences and insights regarding competition levels in virtual worlds and generative AI, as well as how competition laws could help to ensure the emerging markets remained sustainable.

Additionally, the EC said it was examining agreements made between major digital market players and generative AI developers/providers to gauge their impact on market dynamics.

It added that a review was underway to assess whether Microsoft's investment in OpenAI complied with the EU Merger Regulation.

Venture capital investment in AI in the EU topped €7.2bn in 2023, and the European virtual worlds market was estimated at over €11bn in the same year.

The EC said both technologies were expected to see exponential growth in the coming years, significantly influencing business competition.

"Virtual worlds and generative AI are rapidly developing," said the EC's executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.

"It is fundamental that these new markets stay competitive, and that nothing stands in the way of businesses growing and providing the best and most innovative products to consumers.

"We are inviting businesses and experts to tell us about any competition issues that they may perceive in these industries, whilst also closely monitoring AI partnerships to ensure they do not unduly distort market dynamics."

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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