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NVIDIA's French offices raided after anticompetitive concerns

The graphics card company has caught the attention of France's competition authority for its deep relationship with cloud-focused companies like Microsoft and Google.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 29, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for graphics card maker NVIDIA.

According to the Wall Street Journal, France's competition authority conducted a raid on NVIDIA's offices in the country earlier this week. The agency itself revealed it raided "a company suspected of having implemented anticompetitive practices in the graphics cards sector."

While the agency was vague on which specific company, sources speaking to the Journal confirmed NVIDIA was the target. The raid was reportedly incited by a larger inquiry into cloud technology from June, and worries that larger companies (like Microsoft) could use their computing power to shut out smaller companies.

NVIDIA chips and cloud computing

Cloud companies use NVIDIA chips by the tens of thousands for their data centers stationed around the United States (if not the whole world). The Journal notes that NVIDIA's growth from a graphics card company to a "computational workhorse behind the AI boom" is cause for concern.

During summer 2022, NVIDIA chips were in extremely high demand (and eventually faced a shortage) as the AI and cryptocurrency booms were both taking off. Earlier this week, the company secured two deals for a pair of France-based companies to expand their respective offerings of NVIDIA's H100 AI chips. 

In its June report, the competition authority claimed increased use of AI "will drive growth in demand for cloud services. Competition authorities will have to monitor that established players do not hinder the development of smaller or new players based on these technologies."

Questions about NVIDIA becoming a monopoly have been previously raised. Last year, PC component maker EVGA alleged NVIDIA intentionally withheld information about its high-end graphics cards. Because it had to sell its own graphics cards at a loss of "hundreds of dollars," EVGA said it was leaving the graphics card business.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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