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UK regulators could examine Microsoft investment in OpenAI 

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UK regulators examine Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI

The UK antitrust watchdog is reviewing whether a merger investigation should be initiated into the new multi-billion Microsoft dollar partnership with OpenAI.

The move follows OpenAI's announcement Microsoft would hold a non-voting board seat. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the review will consider if the collaboration constitutes an "acquisition of control."

Read More: New OpenAI Board Takes Charge, Giving Microsoft Observer Role

The pact leads to one party gaining significant material influence over another.

This marks the regulator's second scrutiny of the US software giant's activities this year, focusing on whether the partnership has led to a pertinent merger situation. 

The CMA said: "There have recently been a number of developments in the governance of OpenAI, some of which involved Microsoft.

"In light of these developments, the CMA is now issuing an ITC to determine whether the Microsoft / OpenAI partnership, including recent developments, has resulted in a relevant merger situation and, if so, the potential impact on competition."

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Brad Smith, Microsoft's Vice Chair and President, said: "The only thing that has changed is that Microsoft will now have a non-voting observer on OpenAI’s Board, which is very different from an acquisition such as Google’s purchase of DeepMind in the UK.”

He said Microsoft will collaborate closely with the CMA.

Under the non-voting observer role, Microsoft's representative gains access to OpenAI's board meetings and confidential information.

However, they lack voting rights on critical matters such as director elections. 

The tech giant has committed to invest more than $10 billion in OpenAI.

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