Apple, Microsoft Back Out From OpenAI Board Seats Over Increasing Antitrust Concerns

By Thea Felicity

Jul 10, 2024 09:53 AM EDT

Apple, Microsoft Back Out From OpenAI Board Seats Over Antitrust Concerns
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft Chief Technology Officer and Executive VP of Artificial Intelligence Kevin Scott speak during the Microsoft Build conference at the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building in Seattle, Washington on May 21, 2024.
(Photo : JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

Apple and Microsoft will no longer join the board of OpenAI as global regulators focus on the influence of Big Tech over artificial intelligence developments. 

Bloomberg reported that Microsoft, which invested $13 billion in OpenAI, confirmed its withdrawal from the board in a letter to the company.  

Not more than a week prior, VCPost shared that Apple is joining the board with Phil Schiller taking the 'observer role,' considering their historic no-payment partnership. As confirmed by an OpenAI spokesperson to Bloomberg, Apple will also refrain from board participation.

While Apple won't directly influence OpenAI's board, the companies' collaborative efforts, such as bringing ChatGPT to the iPhone, will continue.

READ MORE: Apple Joins OpenAI's Board: Phil Schiller Takes Observer Role in Historic Partnership

Microsoft and OpenAI Regulatory Concerns

Over the past few weeks, regulatory bodies in the US and Europe have raised concerns over Microsoft's potential dominance over OpenAI, prompting the tech giant to maintain a more distanced relationship. Recently, VCPost also reported that CIR will be considering legal action against OpenAI and Microsoft for using AI in their news content without consent.

In addition, the company has been facing antitrust scrutiny due to bundling Teams with other Microsoft Office software.

However, Microsoft is not alone in facing scrutiny; other tech giants are also under the microscope. The UK's competition regulator is also investigating Amazon's $4 billion collaboration with AI company Anthropic, and the US is probing Nvidia's dominance in AI chips. 

Despite the withdrawal, Microsoft and OpenAI will continue their partnership, but due to the role of the board seat, they will not have regulatory oversight.

OpenAI also plans to maintain regular stakeholder meetings with its partners and investors to ensure ongoing collaboration on safety, security, and progress towards their shared goals. 

READ NEXT: Center for Investigative Reporting Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over AI Use of News Content

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