Microsoft, Apple drop OpenAI board positions amid regulatory scrutiny

Microsoft has given up its observer seat on OpenAI’s board, less than eight months after securing the non-voting seat. Apple was reportedly planning to join OpenAI’s nonprofit board, but now the Financial Times announces that Apple will no longer be part of the board of directors.

OpenAI confirmed in a statement that Microsoft has given up its seat The edge, following reports from Axios and the Financial Times that Keith Dolliver, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, wrote a letter to OpenAI late Tuesday night.

“We are grateful to Microsoft for their vote of confidence in the Board and the direction of the company, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership,” said OpenAI spokesperson Steve Sharpe. “Under the leadership of CFO Sarah Friar, we are establishing a new approach to informing and engaging key strategic partners, such as Microsoft and Apple, and investors, such as Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures.”

OpenAI’s new approach to Microsoft and Apple involves “holding regular meetings with stakeholders to share progress on our mission and ensure stronger collaboration on safety and security.”

The changes to OpenAI’s board come as antitrust concerns over Microsoft’s deal with OpenAI have grown in recent months. U.K. regulators began seeking opinions on Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI in December, shortly after the turmoil that led to CEO Sam Altman’s resignation and subsequent return. EU regulators are also looking into the partnership, along with other Big Tech AI deals. The FTC is also investigating investments by Microsoft, Amazon and Google in OpenAI and Anthropic.

Microsoft has invested more than $10 billion in OpenAI, in a deal that makes Microsoft the exclusive cloud partner for OpenAI. Microsoft’s cloud services also power all of OpenAI’s workloads across products, API services, and research. The deal has given Microsoft a leg up in the AI ​​race, and OpenAI’s models help power Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Copilot, and a host of AI features across its products and services.

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