EU Anti-Monopoly Service to Investigate Microsoft’s Investment in Mistral AI Start-up

The European Union’s (EU) antitrust service has cast its gaze on Microsoft’s $16.3 million investment in start-up Mistral AI. This strategic partnership aims to provide clients of Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform access to the AI models developed by the French startup.

Mistral AI sets itself apart with its open-access AI models, unlike comparable algorithmic models from OpenAI used to create smart chatbots and other AI services. As stated in the deal’s terms, Microsoft’s investment will convert into an equity stake in the start-up during the next funding round.

Microsoft’s long-term collaboration with California-based startup OpenAI, worth around $13 billion, is also under EU and UK regulators’ scrutiny. After receiving a copy of the agreement, a representative from the European Commission stated on Tuesday that the agency will examine Microsoft’s investment in Mistral AI. This could potentially lead to an official investigation, disrupting Microsoft’s plans.

Analysis indicates that regulators’ closer scrutiny of tech giants’ activities in the AI sector is growing increasingly relevant. While Microsoft’s investment in Mistral AI and partnership with OpenAI open new frontiers in cloud technology and AI, they expose the corporation to additional oversight from antitrust authorities.

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