U.S. FTC Orders Major Tech Companies to Provide Information on AI Investments

FTC Chair Lina M. Khan emphasised the importance of safeguarding competition: "Our study will investigate whether dominant companies' investments and partnerships risk obstructing innovation and fair competition, even as AI presents new opportunities."
01 February 2024
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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against five companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, and OpenAI, in an effort to gain insight into their investments and partnerships with generative artificial intelligence (AI) companies and major cloud service providers.

This move comes as part of the agency's 6(b) inquiry, which aims to thoroughly examine corporate alliances and investments with AI providers and understand how they impact the competitive landscape. The FTC's orders, issued under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, require the companies to disclose information about their recent investments and partnerships.

FTC Chair Lina M. Khan emphasised the importance of ensuring fair competition in the race to develop and monetize AI technology. She stated, "Our study will shed light on whether investments and partnerships pursued by dominant companies risk distorting innovation and undermining fair competition."

Companies are using various strategies to harness the power of AI, such as forming partnerships and making direct investments in AI developers. The FTC's inquiry specifically focuses on three major multi-billion-dollar investments: Microsoft and OpenAI, Amazon and Anthropic, and Google and Anthropic.

The FTC is particularly interested in obtaining information about the agreements and strategic rationale behind these investments and partnerships, as well as their practical implications, including decision-making processes and potential competitive impact. Additionally, the agency wants insights into the competition for AI resources and the sharing of information with other government entities.

The companies have 45 days to respond to the FTC's orders.

- CyberBeat


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