Microsoft and Apple step down from OpenAi board over antitrust concerns

Microsoft has resigned from its observer seat on the OpenAI board, less than eight months after taking up the position, sources report.

Washington, D.C.-based tech giant received a non-voting seat on the OpenAI board in November 2023, acting CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman was rehired after a brief forcible removal. Microsoft, which has invested over $10 billion in the company behind AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, was “unexpected”after Altman’s abrupt firing last year.

“We have witnessed significant progress from the newly formed board over the past eight months and are confident in the direction the company is headed,” Keith Dolliver, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, wrote in a letter to OpenAI on Tuesday. “Financial Times” AND Axial.

“Given all of this, we no longer believe our limited observer role is necessary,” Microsoft added in the letter, announcing the withdrawal of the position “effective immediately.”

Apple, which recently received its own observer’s place on OpenAI’s board, declined to take the position, The Times reported. Phil Schiller, who heads Apple App Storeexpected to take its place by the end of this year. Both companies have announced a partnership integrate ChatGPT 4-oz with the latest iPhone operating system (iOS 18), iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia.

According to the Times, OpenAI’s new approach to briefing partners, which include tech giants and investors like Thrive Capital, will be regular meetings.

The changes to OpenAI’s board come as European and U.S. regulators have launched investigations into big tech companies over antitrust allegations.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have we reached an agreement investigating Microsoft, Nvidia, and Open AI for potentially anti-competitive conduct in the AI ​​industry. The FTC is conducting a separate investigation into Microsoft. on the deal to “acquire” AI startup Inflection, as well as Amazon and Google separate investments to anthropic.

United Kingdom Office for Competition and Markets in December, it began collecting information to determine whether the Microsoft-OpenAI collaboration poses a threat to competition. And the European Commission is weighting own antitrust investigation into the merger.

Representatives for Microsoft, OpenAI and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

-Britney Nguyen and Laura Bratton contributed to this article.