The partnership between Apple and OpenAI may prompt changes to EU antitrust rules

OpenAI’s ChatGPT integration with Apple operating systems announced this week could lead to a reassessment of the EU’s digital antitrust rules, according to a European Commission spokesman.

On Monday, OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, and Apple revealed their partnership, stating that the ChatGPT language model will be incorporated into Apple’s iOS, iPadOS and macOS platforms later this year. The move aims to enhance Apple’s digital assistant Siri and its writing tools with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

Apple’s iOS was designated as an essential platform service under the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) in September 2023, subjecting it to a range of antitrust obligations. The DMA’s flexibility allows it to be updated as needed, Competition Commission spokeswoman Lea Zuber explained at Tuesday’s press conference.

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“If (core platform) services change, this may be reflected in regulatory obligations,” Zuber said. However, she noted that large language models such as ChatGPT are not currently listed as core platform services under the DMA. Nevertheless, Zuber mentioned that these models could be integrated with core platform services such as search engines or virtual assistants, which are covered by the regulation.

The press release did not specify whether OpenAI’s ChatGPT features will be integrated with Apple’s Safari browser, which is also a core platform service under the EU’s DMA agreement. Siri, which will integrate OpenAI capabilities, has not been designated as a core platform service.

At the time of publication, OpenAI had not responded to a request for comment. It is uncertain whether Apple’s antitrust obligations under the DMA will extend to ChatGPT once it is integrated into iOS.

“Once the (ChatGPT) service is integrated (with Apple’s iOS), we will be able to make an assessment,” Zuber added.

Source: Euractive