Regulators have singled out Microsoft and OpenAI’s exclusive provisions, prompting the possibility of an EU antitrust inquiry into their cooperation. Google’s artificial intelligence agreement with Samsung has also drawn attention.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated on Friday that the EU antitrust authorities will look for further opinions from third parties.

The actions, which mirror the firms’ market dominance in other industries, highlight regulators’ concerns about Big Tech extending its hegemony into new technologies around the world.

Regarding their AI collaborations, Vestager mailed questionnaires to Microsoft, Google, Facebook owned by Meta, TikTok by ByteDance, and other major tech firms in March.

“After going over the responses, we are sending out a follow-up request for details on the contract between Microsoft and OpenAI. to ascertain if certain exclusive provisions would harm rivals,” she stated at a conference.

The development of a case by EU authorities that may result in an examination of the two corporations’ cooperation was initially reported by Reuters.

A Microsoft representative stated, “We stand ready to respond to any additional questions the European Commission may have.”

Because there is no control over the agreement between Microsoft and OpenAI, Vestager stated that it will not be governed by EU merger regulations.

The main company of OpenAI is a charity, but Microsoft has contributed $13 billion, or around Rs. 1,08,425 crore, for a 49 percent interest in a for-profit subsidiary.

Vestager raised worries as well about Big Tech obstructing smaller AI developers from connecting with consumers and companies.

“We are also sending requests for information to better understand the effects of Google’s arrangement with Samsung to pre-install its small model Gemini Nano on certain Samsung devices,” she stated.

In order to integrate its generative artificial intelligence technology into Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series smartphones, Google and the South Korean business struck a multi-year agreement in January.

Vestager said that she was investigating “acqui-hires,” a practice that sees a business buy another primarily for its expertise. Microsoft purchased startup Inflection for $650 million (about Rs. 5,422 crore) in March, allowing it to use Inflection’s models and employ the majority of its workforce.

“We will make sure these practices don’t slip through our merger control rules if they basically lead to a concentration,” she stated.