Home » UK watchdog decides not to pursue investigation into Microsoft-Mistral deal

UK watchdog decides not to pursue investigation into Microsoft-Mistral deal

The Microsoft Corp. logo. The company is increasing its cybersecurity staff. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

British regulators said Friday they don’t need to open a competition investigation into Microsoft’s partnership with French artificial intelligence company Mistral, a month after asking for industry feedback on the deal.

Microsoft announced earlier this year that it was partnering with the buzzy French startup in a move that could lessen the software giant’s reliance on ChatGPT-maker OpenAI for supplying the next wave of chatbots and other generative AI products.

The Competion and Markets Authority said in a brief update that the tie-up does not qualify for investigation” under UK merger rules.

The watchdog had said in April that it was seeking comments from interested third parties, before deciding whether to carry out an in-depth antitrust investigation.

By deciding not to probe the deal, “the CMA confirmed that the structure of the partnership between Mistral and Microsoft does not grant sufficient rights/influence to Microsoft,” Alex Haffner, competition partner at UK law firm Fladgate, said by email.

The watchdog is still looking into Microsoft’s hiring of key staff from another startup, Inflection AI, as well as Amazon’s USD 4 billion investment in San Francisco-based Anthropic. It didn’t provide updates on those reviews, which were announced at the same time last month.

Nor has it issued an update on its review of Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI since it asked for comments on that deal in December.


EU seeks clarity from Microsoft on AI risks in Bing


The European Commission could fine Microsoft if it doesn’t provide adequate information on risks stemming from generative AI features in search engine Bing by May 27. The Commission said on Friday that it is worried about the dissemination of deep fakes and automated manipulation of services that can mislead voters. It said it was stepping up enforcement actions on the matter. (Reuters)

First Published: May 17 2024 | 9:35 PM IST