Microsoft-OpenAI deal set to dodge formal EU merger probe, sources say

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 11:50 AM

(Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators have concluded that Microsoft’s $13 billion investment into OpenAI is not an acquisition, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, signaling the deal will avoid a formal European probe that could have led to onerous remedies for the U.S. tech giant.

The regulators had said in January that the deal may be subject to merger rules in the region.

Microsoft, OpenAI and a spokesperson of the European Commission did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Microsoft is not out of the woods, however, with the EU competition enforcer still looking into partnerships between large digital market players and generative AI developers and providers that could lead to intrusive and lengthy investigations in their market power.

Bloomberg News first reported the development.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Shailesh Kuber)