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Apple and Microsoft give up their chance to peek into OpenAI secrets

The tech giants have lost their observer seats on OpenAI's board.

Published onJuly 10, 2024

ChatGPT stock photo 71
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority
  • Apple’s Phil Schiller will no longer join OpenAI’s board as an observer. The companies will instead meet regularly to discuss matters of interest.
  • Microsoft has also given up its observer seat on OpenAI’s board due to growing scrutiny by global regulators.
  • By dropping their board seats in favor of regular meetings, Apple and Microsoft can help avoid relevant antitrust cases.

A few days ago, a report suggested that — due to the ChatGPT on iOS 18 partnership — Apple’s Phil Schiller would be joining OpenAI’s board as an observer later this year. While the initial report may have been accurate, it now appears that the companies have changed their plans. Instead of having an observer seat, Apple will reportedly meet with OpenAI regularly to avoid potential antitrust cases.

According to the Financial Times, Apple has given up its observer seat on OpenAI’s board. For those unfamiliar, this position would’ve granted Phil Schiller a non-voting role at OpenAI’s board meetings. While this arrangement wouldn’t have given Apple control over OpenAI’s direction, it would’ve let it in on its secret plans.

Due to growing scrutiny by global regulators and to dodge relevant antitrust cases, Apple will reportedly settle for regular meetings with OpenAI. Microsoft, who had an observer seat on OpenAI’s board, has similarly given up this role for the same reason. In response to Microsoft’s withdrawal from the board, an OpenAI spokesperson said: “We’re grateful to Microsoft for voicing confidence in the board and the direction of the company, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership.”

While Microsoft will no longer be on OpenAI’s board, the two companies will remain close partners. After all, Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI, and it continues to provide the company with cloud solutions and other fundamental services.

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