By Greg Bensinger

(Reuters) hired away artificial intelligence startup Adept’s co-founders and some of its team in a move that echoes one by rival Microsoft.

Adept said in a blog post Friday that cofounder and CEO David Luan, as well as several other co-founders and employees were leaving to join Amazon.

Adept, which has raised over $410 million and is valued above $1 billion, named a new CEO and said it would continue to operate independent of Amazon.

The move is similar to one by Microsoft, which in March hired away much of Inflection AI’s leadership and employees and agreed to pay a roughly $650 million fee.

That deal has attracted the attention of the US Federal Trade Commission.

Amazon will pay Adept a licensing fee to use some of its technology, which helps automate some business functions. An Amazon spokesperson declined to disclose terms of the non-exclusive deal.

The spokesperson said the Adept employees have already joined the company and about 20 Adept workers remain at the startup.

Adept didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Mexico City and Greg Bensinger in San Francisco; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sayantani GHosh)

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