Microsoft Will Pay Inflection AI $650 Million In Licensing Deal

IBL News | New York

Microsoft agreed to pay Inflection AI — creator of the PI chatbot — about $650 million in a licensing deal. The software giant will make Inflection’s models available for sale on its Azure cloud service through this deal.

As part of the transaction, Microsoft is hiring the co-founder of Inflection, Mustafa Suleyman, and much of the start-up staff.

It’s like an acquisition but with some other kind of clothing to avoid antitrust regulators, experts say. “Microsoft seems to be pioneering the non-acquisition acquisition,” wrote Madeline Renbarger and Eric Newcomer.

This would be the second time Microsoft ran this sort of playbook after its still largely secret partnership with OpenAI based on funneling over $10 billion and holding a 49% stake in the non-profit company.

The deal took place on the same week the Justice Department sued Apple for allegedly monopolizing the smartphone business. U.S. antitrust regulators are also going after Google, Meta, and Amazon.