Commission ‘Compels’ Microsoft To Provide Information On Bing And Generative AI


By Eliza Gkritsi

(EurActiv) — The European Commission has moved to “compel” Microsoft to provide information about generative artificial intelligence (AI) risks on its Bing search engine, threatening it with a fine, according to a statement on Friday (17 May).

The Commission suspects violations of the Digital Services Act (DSA), the bloc’s landmark content moderation regulation, stemming from risks posed by Bing’s generative AI tools, notably in “Copilot in Bing” and “Image Creator by Designer”.

If Microsoft does not provide the information by 27 May, the Commission may impose a fine of up to 1% of the provider’s total annual income, the statement said. Microsoft’s 2023 turnover was $211 billion (€194 billion).

The Commission asked Microsoft in March to deliver information on their use of targeted ads and generative AI, along with Google Search, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and X.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Euractiv the company has “been fully cooperating” with the Commission “as part of the voluntary request for information” and remains “committed” to responding to questions and “sharing more about our approach to digital safety and compliance with the DSA.”

Friday’s request also includes internal documents and data not disclosed in Microsoft’s previous response, the Commission said.

The new request “is based on the suspicion that Bing may have breached the DSA for risks linked to generative AI, such as so-called ‘hallucinations’, the viral dissemination of deepfakes, as well as the automated manipulation of services that can mislead voters,” the statement said.

The Commission has been particularly concerned about the use of generative AI to influence voters ahead of elections for the European Parliament, scheduled for 6-9 June. On 26 March, the EU executive released a set of guidelines for how big tech platforms can mitigate election risks, including those from generative AI.

Bing has been designated as a Very Large Online Search Engine under the DSA, along with other major tech platforms, which means it has to follow strict rules on how to deal with illegal and potentially harmful online content.

Just a day earlier, the Commission announced yet another investigation into possible DSA violations by Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company.


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