UK regulators are scrutinizing partnerships between Microsoft and Amazon involving AI technology.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently scrutinizing the partnerships between tech giants Microsoft and Amazon and smaller generative AI model creators. This move comes as the CMA seeks to gain insights from interested parties regarding the major collaborations between Microsoft and Mistral, as well as Amazon and Anthropic, along with Microsoft’s recruitment of former Inflection AI employees.

The CMA has set a deadline of May 9 for stakeholders to provide their perspectives on whether these associations could be deemed as mergers. This initial call for comments precedes the formal Phase 1 review that will be carried out by British regulators to assess the nature of these partnerships and their impact on competition in the industry.

Responding to these concerns, Microsoft has refuted claims that their agreements with Mistral and talent acquisitions from Inflection amount to mergers. A Microsoft spokesperson emphasized that these are standard business practices aimed at fostering competition and do not constitute mergers in the traditional sense. The company stated its commitment to cooperating with the CMA in providing the necessary information for their inquiries.

Amazon, on the other hand, defended its collaboration with Anthropic, labeling the CMA review as unprecedented. The company highlighted the unique aspects of their partnership, stressing that it includes a limited investment without granting Amazon a significant role in Anthropic’s operations. Amazon emphasized that their collaboration with Anthropic, particularly on their new Claude 3 models, contributes to boosting competitiveness in the generative AI sector and benefits customers.

Both Microsoft and Amazon are actively engaging with the regulatory authorities to address any concerns and clarify the nature of their partnerships in the AI space. The evolving story underscores the increasing scrutiny and focus on tech collaborations and their implications for competition and innovation.

Stay tuned for further updates on this developing news story.

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