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Microsoft threatens to restrict data from rival AI search tools- Bloomberg News

FILE PHOTO: Smartphone is seen in front of Microsoft logo displayed in this illustration taken

(Reuters) -Microsoft Corp has threatened to cut off access to its internet-search data, which it licenses to rival search engines, if they do not stop using it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence chat products, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

The company has told at least two customers that using its Bing search index - a map of the internet that can be scanned in real time - to feed their AI chat tools violates the terms of their contract, the news agency said, citing people familiar with the dispute.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft may also terminate licenses providing access to its search index, Bloomberg added.

"We've been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to consistently enforce our terms across the board," a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters, adding that the company will continue to work with them directly and give information needed to find a path forward.

The maker of the Windows operating system had said in February it was revamping its Bing search engine and Edge Web browser with artificial intelligence, signaling its ambition to retake the lead in consumer technology markets where it has fallen behind.

The upgraded Bing search engine was rolled out to users late last month.

(Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina and Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler, Stephen Coates and Sonia Cheema)