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Microsoft and Apple Withdraw from OpenAI Board Amid Regulatory Scrutiny

Technology giants Microsoft and Apple have decided not to join the board of artificial intelligence firm OpenAI due to increasing regulatory scrutiny.

On July 10, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft had sent a letter to OpenAI announcing its decision to withdraw from the board.

This move came about a year after Microsoft made a substantial $13 billion investment in OpenAI in April 2023.

Following Microsoft’s departure, OpenAI will have no board observers.

In its memo to OpenAI, Microsoft stated, “Over the past eight months we have witnessed significant progress from the newly formed board and are confident in the company’s direction,” adding, “We no longer believe our limited role as an observer is necessary.”

Contrary to earlier reports that Apple would also get an observer role on OpenAI’s board as part of a landmark agreement announced in June, OpenAI confirmed it would have no board observers after Microsoft’s exit.

OpenAI expressed gratitude towards Microsoft, stating, “We’re grateful to Microsoft for voicing confidence in the board and the direction of the company, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership.”

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Cointelegraph reached out to both Microsoft and OpenAI for comments regarding the board membership but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

This news comes amid growing regulatory pressure on Big Tech firms over their potential impact on AI and industry dominance.

In June, European Union regulators announced that OpenAI could face an antitrust investigation over its partnership with Microsoft.

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager noted that local regulators would seek additional third-party views and survey firms like Microsoft, Google, Meta, and ByteDance’s TikTok regarding their AI partnerships.

Previously, the European Commission stated that Microsoft could be fined up to 1% of its annual revenue in the EU if it fails to respond to requests for information related to its Bing search engine and associated generative AI services.

In April 2024, Apple and OpenAI were reportedly in active discussions about integrating generative AI technologies on iOS.

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