Business News Report Technology
July 11, 2024

Microsoft Will Leave OpenAI Board Observer Seat Amid Increasing Global Antitrust Regulatory Concerns

In Brief

Microsoft will abandon its board observer role at OpenAI to address concerns raised by antitrust regulators in US and the UK.

Microsoft Will Leave OpenAI Board Observer Seat Amid Increasing Global Antitrust Regulatory Concerns

Technology company Microsoft announced that it will abandon its board observer role at the AI research organization OpenAI. This decision is intended to address concerns raised by antitrust regulators in both the United States and the United Kingdom about Microsoft’s impact on the company.

Currently, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is actively running antitrust reviews focused on deals involving technology and AI firms. Therefore, Microsoft’s move suggests that it perceives strong possible antitrust risks and is proactively managing them.

Microsoft took a non-voting function on OpenAI’s board when its CEO, Sam Altman, took over oversight of the firm in November 2023. This assignment allowed it to participate in OpenAI’s board discussions and maintain exposure to confidential information without the ability to vote on matters such as director selection or decisions.

Meanwhile, another technology company, Apple, known for collaborating with OpenAI, has decided against assuming an observer role on its board in spite of general anticipations.

OpenAI has confirmed that it has no intention to provide an opportunity for companies to take any board observer roles in the future. Furthermore, the organization emphasized its commitment to inheriting a new strategy for interacting with stakeholders, which involves scheduling periodic meetings with its major partners–Microsoft and Apple, as well as contributors encompassing Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures.

Regulators Concerned Over Microsoft’s Influence On OpenAI 

Microsoft’s position has raised concerns among regulators regarding the degree of authority the company wields over OpenAI.

While European Union antitrust regulators recently determined that the collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI would not be considered under its merger rules due to Microsoft’s lack of control over OpenAI, it has opted to gather third-party thoughts specifically on the exclusivity clauses outlined in the deal.

In contrast, antitrust authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom remain apprehensive and are probing into Microsoft’s level of influence over OpenAI and the autonomy of the latter.

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About The Author

Alisa, a dedicated journalist at the MPost, specializes in cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proofs, investments, and the expansive realm of Web3. With a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, she delivers comprehensive coverage to inform and engage readers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

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Alisa Davidson
Alisa Davidson

Alisa, a dedicated journalist at the MPost, specializes in cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proofs, investments, and the expansive realm of Web3. With a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, she delivers comprehensive coverage to inform and engage readers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

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