FTC and DOJ reportedly opening antitrust investigations into Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia

FTC and DOJ reportedly opening antitrust investigations into Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia


The inquiries could lead to antitrust cases down the line.

Image: Cath Virginia / The Verge

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly agreed to split duties in investigating potential antitrust violations of Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia, The New York Times reported.

The DOJ will lead inquiries into Nvidia, while the FTC will look into the deal between OpenAI and its largest investor, Microsoft.

The FTC began looking into potential antitrust issues related to the investments made by technology companies into smaller AI companies in January this year. The agency sent letters to Alphabet, Amazon, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Amazon are both investors in Anthropic.

The FTC is already investigating OpenAI’s data collection practices, having opened an inquiry in 2023 to determine if the company has caused potential harm and spread false information about individuals. Microsoft’s investment into OpenAI may also face scrutiny outside of the US, as the European Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority are separately looking into Microsoft’s $13 billion investment in the ChatGPT maker. 

Nvidia, however, had not figured into any antitrust conversations in the US. Nvidia is considered the dominant figure in making the chips that power much of the AI boom. Its H100 GPUs are highly sought after, sending the company’s valuation soaring. French antitrust authorities raided Nvidia’s offices in France in connection with an anticompetitive practices investigation in September 2023.

The Verge reached out for comments from OpenAI, Microsoft, and Nvidia but have not heard back. The FTC declined to comment.

An investigation by the two agencies does not mean the Biden administration is opening cases against the three companies, but the Times pointed out that a similar deal in 2019 led to the government’s cases against Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta.


Emilia David

Leave a Reply