Microsoft Corporation has threatened to restrict access to its internet-search data, which it licences to competing search engines.
Bloomberg News reported on Friday that the company has stated that it will do so if they do not stop using it as the foundation for its own artificial intelligence chat products.
According to the news agency, the company has informed 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.
In February, Microsoft announced that it was revamping its Bing search engine and Edge Web browser with artificial intelligence, signalling its intention to retake the lead in consumer technology markets where it had fallen behind.
Users began receiving the upgraded Bing search engine late last month.