In a significant move, US regulators will investigate major technology companies Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia for possible monopolistic practices in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are currently negotiating jurisdiction to determine which agency will lead the investigation into the partnerships and business practices of these AI giants.

Discussions between the FTC and DOJ have been ongoing for months, focusing primarily on the collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI. Microsoft has invested more than 13 billion dollars in OpenAI. It has integrated its AI technologies, including the popular ChatGPT, into its core businesses, such as the Bing search engine. This partnership has raised concerns about potential unfair advantages in the rapidly evolving AI market.

The FTC has already launched a consumer protection investigation into OpenAI to examine whether ChatGPT poses risks to consumers' data and reputations. This is the first official investigation into the overall impact of AI technologies on consumer rights and privacy.

In addition to the US authorities, European and UK antitrust authorities are also investigating Microsoft's extensive investments in OpenAI. The European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority are investigating whether this partnership breaches merger rules and hinders competition in the AI sector. The UK CMA is gathering information from stakeholders and is expected to decide on a formal investigation soon.

This regulatory attention underscores a broader concern about the consolidation of power by a few tech giants in the AI industry. FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan has emphasized the need for early vigilance over transformative technologies like AI, pointing to potential risks to fair competition and consumer protection. The ongoing debate between the FTC and DOJ also touches on the broader implications of AI advances and the need for a clear regulatory framework for dealing with these new technologies.

The outcome of these investigations could have far-reaching implications for the AI industry and potentially shape the regulatory landscape for AI technologies and corporate partnerships. As AI continues to be integrated into various aspects of business and daily life, ensuring competitive practices and protecting consumer interests remain key priorities for regulators worldwide.