Microsoft could be fined in the European Union up to 1% of its annual turnover if it does not respond to a request for information by May 27.

The threat stems from a request made under the EU’s Digital Services Act regarding the company’s Bing search engine and its associated generative artificial intelligence (AI) services.

In a May 17 post on

“Bing may pose risks associated with generative AI, such as so-called ‘hallucinations’, deepfakes and the automated manipulation of services that could mislead voters.”

In a linked blog post on the European Commission’s official website, labeled “Daily News,” the Commission explained that the original request was sent on May 14 “regarding specific risks arising from Bing’s generative AI features, including namely ‘Copilot in Bing’ and ‘Image Creator by Designer’.”

The blog post continued that Microsoft “now has until May 27 to provide the requested information to the Commission.”

This warning is accompanied by a notice that the Commission may impose “fines up to 1% of the provider’s total annual income” as well as “periodic fines up to 5% of the average daily income of the provider” if the provider’s request is not complied with EU is met before the deadline.

While a fine of 1% of revenue may not sound like a devastating blow, in Microsoft’s case it could amount to more than $2 billion. The company itself reported revenues of $211 billion for 2023, and if the current market trend remains stable, it’s conceivable that Microsoft could surpass this in 2024. At these figures, the fine, if imposed, would be approximately $2.1 billion.

However, Microsoft has not been found guilty of violating EU laws – at least not specifically in relation to this notice. This appears to be more of a public warning that the company has effectively been served with a request for additional information, with consequences if it is ignored.


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