French Authorities Investigate Nvidia’s French Offices in Cloud-Computing Competition Inquiry
French authorities received approval from judge for the raid of local offices. NVIDIA offices were raided yesterday morning.
French antitrust authorities recently conducted a raid on the premises of a company suspected of engaging in anticompetitive practices within the graphics cards sector, a company that was later identified as Nvidia Corp by the Wall Street Journal. France’s competition authority clarified that such raids do not imply a violation of the law but are part of a process to investigate the merits of the case thoroughly.
Although Nvidia wasn’t explicitly mentioned by the agency, the Santa Clara-based tech giant chose not to comment on the matter. This development signals increased interest in Nvidia’s dominant position in supplying chips for artificial intelligence applications. While initially renowned for their popularity in gaming, Nvidia’s graphics processor units have now become integral components in AI systems used for training large language models and other AI software.
Following authorisation from a liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la concurrence carried out a dawn raid at the premises of a company suspected of having implemented anticompetitive practices in the graphics cards sector.
This is part of the focus put on the cloud by the Autorité de la concurrence, which was the subject of an opinion on competition in its sector published on 29th June 2023.
Such dawn raids do not pre-suppose the existence of a breach of the law which could be imputed to the company involved in the alleged practices, which only a full investigation into the merits of the case could establish, if appropriate.
The Autorité de la concurrence will not comment further, whether on the entity or on the practices in question.
— “Autorite de la concurence” Statement
The raid was authorized by a liberty and custody judge, following the publication of a report by the French competition authority on competition within the cloud computing sector. Rivals like Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are endeavoring to compete in the AI chip market, but Nvidia’s H100 processors maintain a stronghold, capturing over 80% of the market share by some estimates.
In related news, the raid comes when just this week two French companies recently announced agreements to expand their offerings of Nvidia’s powerful AI chips, the H100s.