FTC Launches Inquiry into Generative AI Investments and Partnerships

The Federal Trade Commission announced today, January 25, that it issued orders to five companies requiring them to provide information regarding recent investments and partnerships involving generative AI companies and major cloud service providers.

The agency’s 6(b) inquiry will scrutinize corporate partnerships and investments with AI providers to build a better internal understanding of these relationships and their impact on the competitive landscape.  The compulsory orders were sent to Alphabet, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Anthropic PBC, Microsoft Corp., and OpenAI, Inc.

According to Sage Lazzaro writing in Eye on AI, “The agency is investigating three multi-billion dollar deals that have shaped the AI landscape as we know it: Microsoft and OpenAI, Google and Anthropic, and Amazon and Anthropic. The FTC issued orders to all of the involved companies, seeking specifics about their agreements, the practical implications of these partnerships, analysis of the transactions’ competitive impact, competition for AI inputs and resources, and more information. This investigation could have major ramifications for these companies and the AI and technology landscape.”

The FTC issued its orders under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the Commission to conduct studies that allow enforcers to gain a deeper understanding of market trends and business practices. Findings stemming from such orders can help inform future Commission actions..

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