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AI Monopoly Risks Prompt US Antitrust Chief to Start Investigation

Harvey Hunter
Last updated: | 2 min read
AI Monopoly Risks Prompt US Antitrust Chief to Start Investigation

US Antitrust Enforcer Jonathan Kanter stressed the need for regulators to thoroughly examine the AI sector “with urgency” to prevent potential monopolies.

In a Financial Times report, Kanter said that he was examining “monopoly choke points and the competitive landscape” in AI.

These choke points encompass computing power, data used to train large language models (LLMs), cloud service providers, engineering talent, and hardware.

Kanter called on the AI sector for urgent action to ensure that current dominant technology firms do not attain sole market control. He expressed regulators’ concern that AI is “at the high-water mark of competition, not the floor.”

Kanter claims real-time intervention may be the most meaningful. “The beauty of that is you can be less invasive,” he added.

US Officials Want To Prevent an AI Monopoly

Kanter highlighted that the graphics processing units (GPUs) have become a “scarce resource,” Predominantly used in AI to train LLMs.

Nvidia currently dominates sales of the most advanced GPUs. On May 23, Nvidia released its first-quarter earnings report, showing that its revenue surged 262% from a year ago.

After the report’s release, the company’s stock prices surged to a new all-time high of $1,007, sending its valuation above $2.5 trillion.

Kanter highlighted existing government initiatives to boost production, noting the 2022 Chips and Science Act, which provides $39 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturing in the US.

However, he added that antitrust regulators were looking at how chipmakers decide to allocate their most advanced products amid rampant demand.

He warned that if decisions prioritize competitive consequences over profitability and shareholder value, it would lead to an AI monopoly.

“One of the things to think through is conflict of interest, a thumb on the scale, because they fear enabling a competitor or are helping to prop up a customer.”

Since the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022, companies have been racing to secure multibillion-dollar partnerships with some of the most promising AI companies and those building models and apps based on the technology.

Notably, Microsoft has made substantial investments into OpenAI, gaining rights to its intellectual property and profits. As well as Amazon’s multi-billion deals with rival Anthropic.

Crypto-AI Firms Lead The Charge

In response, emerging AI-focused platforms are racing to develop decentralized AI technology on the blockchain. As a result, many promising AI-based cryptocurrencies have emerged, contributing to an over $38.7 billion market cap.

The most prevalent is the ongoing merger of SingularityNET,, and Ocean Protocol tokens into ASI. A move that “represents the largest open-sourced, decentralized network focused on the AI industry.”

Under the arrangement, the three firms will continue their separate operations but collaborate under the guidance of a newly formed entity called the Superintelligence Collective.

This shared effort aims to create an ecosystem that is not controlled by large corporations,
but instead solely accountable to shareholders under the governance token.

The Collective’s mission is to promote collaborative innovation and create a level playing field within the technological ecosystem. During an X post, they said:

“It’s about creating a more equitable, secure, and resilient technological future.”

Therefore, harnessing the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency could be pivotal in helping this innovative technology thrive without creating an AI Monopoly.