US initiates probe into Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI: Here's all we know - Hindustan Times
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US initiates probe into Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI: Here's all we know

BySumanti Sen
Jun 06, 2024 10:17 AM IST

Federal regulators will now proceed with antitrust investigations into the roles played by Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia in the AI industry.

A deal that has been reached by federal regulators will allow them to go ahead with antitrust investigations into the roles played by Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia in the AI industry. The deal, struck by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, should be completed in the coming days, two people with knowledge of the matter revealed, as per The New York Times.

Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI to be investigated over potential violation of antitrust (Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg)
Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI to be investigated over potential violation of antitrust (Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg)

The investigations and what they are about

The Justice Department will now lead an investigation into whether Nvidia’s behaviour violated antitrust laws. The Federal Trade Commission will examine the behaviour of OpenAI and Microsoft.

Both these agencies have notably been at the forefront of Joe Biden’s administration’s efforts to limit the biggest tech companies’ power. In fact, in 2019, Google, Apple, Amazon and Meta were investigated by the government following a similar deal. Each of the companies were subsequently sued for allegedly violating antimonopoly laws.

Several regulators have expressed their desire to get ahead of developments in AI. An investigation was launched into OpenAI back in July by the FTC, which tried to examine whether it negatively affected consumers through its collection of data.

FTC also began an inquiry into strategic partnerships between tech giants and AI start-ups in January, including Google’s and Amazon’s investments in Anthropic, as well as Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI.

An insider, who is an unnamed FTC official, stated that in the last week, the discussions between FTC and the Justice Department over the AI companies reached its last stages. The discussion involved both the agencies’ senior levels.

In an interview in February, Lina Khan, the chair of FTC, said that when it came to Artificial Intelligence, the agency was trying to spot “potential problems at the inception rather than years and years and years later, when problems are deeply baked in and much more difficult to rectify.”

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