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US launches inquiry into AI partnerships involving Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, Amazon

Tech companies are pursuing partnerships with AI developers to get access to key technologies and inputs needed for AI development.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on January 25 launched an investigation into investments and partnerships involving generative AI companies and major cloud service providers. The regulator is specifically looking into the partnerships between Microsoft and OpenAI, Amazon and Anthropic, and Google and Anthropic. All these five companies have been asked to provide more information on these partnerships. Tech companies are pursuing partnerships with AI developers to get access to key technologies and inputs needed for AI development and the FTC seeks to better understand these relationships and their impact on the competitive landscape, the Commission said. “History shows that new technologies can create new markets and healthy competition. As companies race to develop and monetize AI, we must guard against tactics that foreclose this opportunity. Our study will shed light on whether investments and partnerships pursued by dominant companies risk distorting innovation and undermining fair competition." — FTC Chair Lina M. Khan The information that the FTC has sought from the companies involved includes: Information regarding a specific investment or partnership and the rationale behind it. The practical implications of the relationship such as decisions around new product releases, governance or oversight rights, etc. Analysis of how the relationship impacts competition in generative AI, including information related to market share, competitors, potential for sales growth, or expansion into product or geographic markets. Analysis of how the relationship impacts the competition for AI resources, including the dynamics regarding key products and services needed for generative AI. Information provided to any…

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