The Federal Trade Commission assesses whether the $650 million deal between big tech and Inflection is irregular

The FTC (United States Federal Trade Commission) is investigating an agreement between Microsoft and AI (artificial intelligence) startup Inflection. The case was revealed this Thursday (June 6, 2024) by Wall Street Journal.

The investigation will be directed towards an alleged acquisition of Inflection by big tech by Bill Gates. The agreement, valued at US$650 million, was not described as a purchase by the multinational.

In March, Microsoft announced the hiring of the startup’s co-founders and employees. The new team would lead the development of Copilot, a chatbot program from big tech. Additionally, Microsoft would host Inflection’s AI model on its cloud platform.

The FTC investigation questions whether Microsoft’s investment in Inflection could be considered an undisclosed acquisition.

A Microsoft spokeswoman denied any wrongdoing in the deal. “[O acordo] enabled the opportunity to recruit individuals at Inflection AI and build a team capable of accelerating Microsoft Copilot,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

The case comes to light at the same time the FTC and the Justice Department finalize an agreement on joint oversight of AI giants.

If approved, the FTC would become Microsoft’s lead investigator. The court aims to determine whether large companies used their dominant positions to harm competition.


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