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Microsoft plans to rain billions on AI in Spain

AI-berian investent follows a $3.44 billion boost to Germany, and a $3.2 billion training investment in the UK.

Microsoft has earmarked $2.1 billion to expand its cloud and AI infrastructure in Spain. The move comes as the EU frets about European companies' ability to access cutting edge AI kit.

Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, announced the expansion over X (formerly known as Twitter), saying that the company would be quadrupling its investment in the country.

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, shared the tweet, adding, "Our investment is beyond just building data centers, it’s a testament to our 37-year commitment to Spain, its security, and development and digital transformation of its government, businesses, and people."

Spain has recently been boosting its tech sector as part of its Digital Spain 2025 strategy. The European country has been encouraging big tech and startups to explore sectors such as smart cities and mobile networks and experiment with use cases.

Microsoft's investment announcement comes on the heels of a remark by Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust chief and digital EVP, that that the impacts of AI must be front of mind for antitrust and merger policy enforcers.

However, most of the EU's AI trajectory has been pro-tech. In September 2023, the EU announced that it will allow ‘ethical and responsible’ AI startups to use its high-performance computing (HPC) supercomputers to train their models.

More recently, the EU has announced that it intends to proceed with a package of measures (termed the AI Innovation Strategy) to support AI startups and small and medium-size enterprises.

This includes setting up AI factories across the EU which will bring together supercomputing infrastructure and human resources to further develop AI models and applications.

See also: Microsoft open-sources “TaskWeaver” AI framework

With growing pro-AI policy and government support, it follows that private investment in AI is growing too.

Along with the commitment to Spain, Microsoft has also pledged $3.44 billion to Germany in AI investments last week. In November 2023, the company had made a $3.2 billion investment to train one million people in the UK for the AI economy.