The European Commission is looking into the newly announced partnership between Microsoft and Mistral AI.

The news comes a day after Microsoft revealed it was entering into a $16 million partnership with the French generative AI lab.

EU Commission headquarters, Brussels
EU Commission headquarters, Brussels – Thinkstock

In a statement, a Commission spokesperson said: “The Commission is looking into agreements that have been concluded between large digital market players and generative AI developers and providers. In this context, we have received the… agreement [between Microsoft and Mistral AI], which we will analyze.”

Mistral Large is a general-purpose language model that the company claims is the world’s second-ranked model generally available through an API (after OpenAI's GPT).

Under the partnership, Microsoft will support the company with Azure AI supercomputing infrastructure, including exploring using the increased compute to train purpose-specific models for select customers, including European public sector workloads.

The company will also offer Mistral's models on its Azure service and take a small stake in the startup, which was last valued at €2 billion ($2.1bn).

Microsoft has not yet responded to a request for comment.

This is not the first time Microsoft’s partnership with an AI company has raised eyebrows on the continent. In January 2024, the European Commission said it was “checking whether Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI might be reviewable under the EU merger regulation.”

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is also looking into the partnership and opened an Invitation to Comment (ITC) ahead of launching a formal Phase 1 investigation. The deadline for comments has now passed and the CMA is yet to provide an updated timeline for its Phase 1 investigation.

Under the terms of that deal, which was worth a rumored $10bn, Microsoft also offered up a significant amount of Azure cloud credits, which OpenAI has used to train and run its latest models.