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UK clears way for Microsoft-Mistral AI tie-up

Kuwait: Britain's competition watchdog on Friday cleared the way for a tie-up between US giant Microsoft and French artificial intelligence firm Mistral AI, concluding it did not amount to a merger.

The Competition and Markets Authority last month announced that it would examine tie-ups between the two firms, between US giant Amazon and its AI partner Anthropic, and also look at Microsoft's hiring of former employees and related arrangements with Inflection AI.

The CMA had issued an "invitation for comments" on the three cases but stopped short of launching formal investigations.

"Based on the evidence, the CMA does not believe that Microsoft has acquired material influence over Mistral AI as a result of the partnership and therefore does not qualify for investigation" on the basis of competition law, a CMA spokesperson said on Friday, adding that this case has now been closed.

Microsoft had in February signed the partnership with Mistral AI as it sought to move beyond its $13-billion tie-up with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

The CMA's announcement in April came after regulators in both the United States and European Union launched similar examinations into such tie-ups. - AFP

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