Microsoft Partners with French AI Firm Mistral, Faces EU Scrutiny

Mukund Kapoor
By Mukund Kapoor - Author 3 Min Read
3 Min Read

Strategic partnership aims to diversify AI offerings, attracting European Union's antitrust attention.

In Short
  • Microsoft announces a strategic partnership with France's Mistral AI, making Mistral's open-source AI models available on Azure.
  • The deal, valued at 15 million euros, aims to reduce Microsoft's reliance on OpenAI amidst global antitrust probes.
  • The European Union is reviewing the partnership for potential competition concerns within the generative AI sector.

February 27th, 2024: Microsoft Corporation has entered into a strategic partnership with Mistral AI, a French startup that stands as OpenAI’s primary European competitor.

Announced on February 27, 2024, this collaboration aims to bring Mistral’s latest artificial intelligence models to Microsoft Azure customers, enhancing the diversity and accessibility of AI technologies.

Mistral AI, known for developing algorithmic models similar to those of OpenAI but with a focus on open-source sharing, has recently introduced a model named Mistral Large.

mistral ai founders

This model boasts unique reasoning abilities and proficiency in five languages, marking a significant advancement in the AI field.

Microsoft’s investment in Mistral, although undisclosed, signifies a strong commitment to supporting a variety of AI technologies, both proprietary and open-source.

This partnership emerges as Microsoft faces increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies globally due to its close ties with OpenAI.

With substantial investments totaling approximately $13 billion in OpenAI, Microsoft’s strategy has notably contributed to the latter’s emergence as a significant tech industry competitor.

However, this has also led to antitrust investigations by the European Union and the UK, questioning the independence and competitive practices of these collaborations.

In light of these challenges, Microsoft has articulated its “AI Access Principles” at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, pledging to make AI tools and models widely available to foster competition.

This is part of a broader initiative by Microsoft, which includes a substantial €5.6 billion investment in European data centers to support the region’s digital infrastructure.

Mistral, founded in early 2023 by ex-engineers from Google’s DeepMind and Meta Platforms Inc., has quickly positioned itself as a European contender in the AI domain.

A recent funding round in December valued the company at approximately $2 billion, highlighting its rapid growth and potential to challenge US dominance in AI technology.

The European Union’s executive commission has announced that it is closely examining the Microsoft-Mistral partnership as part of a broader review of the generative AI market.

This scrutiny aims to ensure that the agreement does not hinder competition, maintaining a balanced and innovative AI ecosystem. As regulatory eyes closely watch this partnership unfold, the tech world eagerly anticipates the impact of this collaboration on the future of artificial intelligence.


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By Mukund Kapoor Author
Mukund Kapoor, the enthusiastic author and creator of GreatAIPrompts, is driven by his passion for all things AI. With a special knack for simplifying complex AI concepts, he's committed to helping readers of all levels - be it beginners or experts - navigate the intriguing world of artificial intelligence. Through GreatAIPrompts, Mukund ensures that readers always have access to the most recent and relevant AI news, tools, and insights. His dedication to quality, accuracy, and clarity is what sets his blog apart, making it a reliable go-to source for anyone interested in unlocking the potential of AI. For more information visit Author Bio.

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