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UK Regulators Clear Microsoft’s Partnership With Mistral

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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Microsoft’s AI partnership with French firm Mistral.

The agency stated that the arrangement does not qualify for investigation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002. 

This decision follows the CMA's initial inquiry into whether the partnership constituted a merger.

Mistral, an AI company founded in 2023, secured a 15 million euro ($16 million) investment from Microsoft earlier this year. 

The deal grants Microsoft a minority stake in Mistral, while Mistral’s large language models will be integrated into Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform.

In April, the CMA began soliciting opinions on partnerships between large US tech companies and smaller AI firms to determine if these arrangements should be classified as mergers. 

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The inquiry included examining Microsoft's minority investment in Mistral and whether Microsoft’s hiring of former employees from AI startup Inflection constituted a merger. 

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The CMA also sought comments on Amazon's partnership with AI firm Anthropic.

It has concluded that Microsoft's investment in Mistral does not warrant further investigation. 

However, it has not provided updates on its inquiries into Amazon's partnership with Anthropic or Microsoft's hiring of Inflection employees.

Microsoft has consistently denied that its partnerships with OpenAI and Mistral and the hiring of Inflection employees constitute mergers. 

Amazon has maintained that its relationship with Anthropic is a limited corporate investment, not a merger.

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