NIXSolutions: US Regulators Investigate AI Giants Nvidia, Microsoft, OpenAI

The US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have agreed to conduct separate antitrust checks against three major players in the field of artificial intelligence: Nvidia, Microsoft, and OpenAI. These companies have taken clear dominant roles in the AI industry, prompting federal regulators to continue their investigations.


The Justice Department will take the lead in examining Nvidia’s activities and potential violations of antitrust laws. Concurrently, the FTC will investigate OpenAI, known for ChatGPT, and Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI. These investigations follow the late 2022 release of ChatGPT and other generative AI systems capable of creating text, photos, video, and audio similar to human creations, which caused significant industry upheaval.

FTC and DOJ’s Focus on AI Industry

Regulators have repeatedly indicated their interest in the AI industry. In July of the previous year, the FTC began investigating OpenAI for possible violations related to consumer privacy during AI training. Additionally, in January of this year, the department scrutinized the strategic partnerships between technology giants and startups, including Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI and Google and Amazon’s investments in Anthropic. Despite these efforts, the United States still lags behind Europe in regulating this industry—the EU has already agreed on the first “AI Law.” FTC Commissioner Lina Khan noted in a February interview that the agency aims to “catch potential problems early rather than years later when problems are deeply entrenched and much more difficult to correct.”

Nvidia’s Market Dominance and Microsoft’s Strategic Moves

Nvidia is the world’s largest supplier of AI accelerators, which are critical components for AI technologies. The surge in demand for AI has led many companies to purchase these components in large volumes, driving a sharp increase in Nvidia’s sales. Recently, Nvidia’s market capitalization exceeded $3 trillion for the first time, surpassing Apple. Industry players have expressed concerns about Nvidia’s dominance, including the company’s practice of locking customers into its software and the opaque distribution of AI accelerators.

Microsoft, owning 49% of OpenAI, plays a significant role in the AI sector through its advanced AI models, particularly the ChatGPT service. This service has revolutionized the industry, and Microsoft has integrated OpenAI technologies into its products, such as AI-generated answers for the Bing search engine and assistance in creating presentations and documents in PowerPoint and Word. To evade antitrust scrutiny, Microsoft structured its stake in OpenAI strategically and hired most of the employees of another startup, Inflection, while licensing its technology. This unconventional approach has made it more challenging for regulators to monitor the company’s activities, notes NIXSolutions.

As these investigations unfold, we’ll keep you updated on any significant developments. The outcomes could have far-reaching implications for the AI industry and the regulatory landscape in the United States.