The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on December 8 invited comments on whether the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI has resulted in a relevant merger situation and, if so, the impact of this on competition in the UK. Microsoft, OpenAI, and other interested third parties can submit their responses by email by 3 January 2024. After the comments phase, the CMA may decide to launch a more formal investigation. "The partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI (including a multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment, collaboration in technology development and exclusive provision of cloud services by Microsoft to OpenAI) represents a close, multi-faceted relationship between two firms with significant activities in FMs [foundational models] and related markets," the CMA stated. "There have recently been a number of developments in the governance of OpenAI, some of which involved Microsoft," CMA added. The regulator is likely hinting at the recent saga involving the ouster and subsequent reinstatement of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Microsoft played a key role in the reinstatement and also got a non-voting board seat at OpenAI subsequently. In light of these developments, the CMA wants to review whether the partnership could result in a weakening of competition in the development or use of foundational models. CMA also wants to review whether the partnership has resulted in "an acquisition of control – that is, where it results in one party having material influence, de facto control or more than 50% of the voting rights over another entity – or change in the nature…
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Vaishnaw said that in the next five years, there will be significant disruptions in the way telecom technology operates.
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