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EU’s Vestager meets French tech firm Mistral AI amid competition concerns



BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, who has been looking into Big Tech’s partnerships with AI start-ups, met on Friday fast-growing French start-up company Mistral AI and said the sector needs more competition.

In February, Microsoft invested $16 million in Mistral AI and partnered with them to make its artificial intelligence models available through its Azure platform. It has also invested in ChatGPT owner OpenAI.

Other high-profile AI partnerships include Amazon and Google’s investments in Anthropic, triggering regulatory concerns that tech giants may once again dominate in this developing field as they have in other more traditional areas.

“If we act early on, we can avoid that the #AI market gets dominated by a few large players, like we saw happening with #digital #platforms. We need vibrant #competition in AI, now,” Vestager wrote on her X account.

“Good meeting with @MistralAI today,” added Vestager, who posted a photo of herself with Mistral AI executive Arthur Mensch.

Earlier this month, publication The Information reported Mistral AI had been speaking to investors about raising several hundred million dollars which would give it an overall $5 billion valuation.

A fund-raising round in December gave Mistral AI a 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) valuation.

($1 = 0.9350 euros)

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by David Evans)

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