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FTC Is After AI Companies’ Investments

A new investigation by the FTC seeks to expose the hidden web of corporate ties at the leading artificial intelligence firms. “Shed light on whether investments and partnerships pursued by dominant companies risk distorting innovation and undermining fair competition.” Chair Lina Khan put it when she said that orders have been sent to Alphabet, Amazon, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI.

FTC Chair, Lina Khan

So far, no wrongdoing has been alleged. However, companies that are currently facing antitrust investigations, fines, or settlements are attempting to secure the next major technology for their benefit, which raises some eyebrows.

This is demonstrated by the fact that Anthropic has billion-dollar backing from Google and Amazon, while OpenAI has backing from Microsoft. All these companies are representatives of the tech giants’ grand ambitions. The FTC has become skilled at spotting the early phases of market dominance, or at least that’s how it seems to the average person.


Khan emphasized further in her statement that New technologies have the potential to open up new markets and spur healthy competition, as proven by history. As businesses hurry to create and profit from AI, we need to be vigilant against strategies that hinder this chance.

All of the aforementioned businesses are required by the orders we sent them to disclose:

  • Collaborations, investments, and the “strategic rationale” behind them.
  • The question is whether there are any “practical implications” to these partnerships, like the timing or method of product releases.
  • The topics covered during meetings.
  • Whatever research they may have done on how these deals will affect rival businesses, their market share, etc.
  • The effect of the collaborations on the battle for artificial intelligence-related resources (like computing power, probably).
  • Any information shared with other domestic or foreign government agencies about these matters.

The companies involved may see this as an attempt to form harmless business relationships and dismiss it as a fishing expedition. Companies that have invested billions in AI research should invest even more to support new competitors that are promising but ideologically opposed.

Microsoft informed in a statement after the publication that its partnership with OpenAI is “promoting competition and accelerating innovation”; you be the judge of that. Google, on the other hand, used the chance to take a passive-aggressive shot at Microsoft’s strategy and trash it. They both seem to be happy to answer questions.

Interestingly, the Federal Trade Commission held a summit yesterday to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), its potential benefits and risks for businesses and startups. Khan pointed out in her introductory remarks that companies “can’t use claims of innovation as cover for law-breaking.” She went on to say that training AI models “further incentivizes surveillance,” referring to the business model that companies like Google, Meta, and others have adopted over the past decade in particular.

An early question avoids nine problems later on to paraphrase an adage. Even though it is unclear if this will prompt the Commission to take any further action, the inquiry does show that these businesses are being closely monitored.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff at AI Surge is a dedicated team of experts led by Paul Robins, boasting a combined experience of over 7 years in Computer Science, AI, emerging technologies, and online publishing. Our commitment is to bring you authoritative insights into the forefront of artificial intelligence.


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