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Generative AI Raises Competition Concerns

“Generative AI has the potential to rapidly transform the way we live, work, and interact. Within just a few months, generative AI chatbots and applications have launched and scaled across industries and reached hundreds of millions of people. AI is increasingly becoming a basic part of daily life. Generative AI depends on a set of necessary inputs. If a single company or a handful of firms control one or several of these essential inputs, they may be able to leverage their control to dampen or distort competition in generative AI markets. And if generative AI itself becomes an increasingly critical tool, then those who control its essential inputs could wield outsized influence over a significant swath of economic activity. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition, working closely with the Office of Technology, is focused on ensuring open and fair competition, including at key inflection points as technologies develop. Generative AI represents one of these paradigm shifts. Accordingly, it is especially important that firms not engage in unfair methods of competition or other antitrust violations to squash competition and undermine the potential far-reaching benefits of this transformative technology. Unfair methods of competition can distort the rate and direction of innovation. By contrast, open and competitive markets can pave the way for emerging technologies, such as generative AI, to yield their maximum potential benefit. This blog post identifies a few of the essential technical building blocks of generative AI and discusses competition concerns potentially raised by generative AI.”

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