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NVIDIA offices in France raided in antitrust investigation

Written by Tue 3 Oct 2023

NVIDIA offices in France have been raided by the French competition regulator after allegations of anti-competitive practices in the cloud computing and AI chip markets were made.

French competition regulator, Autorité de la concurrence, did not name the raided company or specifics on the investigation, referring only to ‘anti-competitive practices in the graphics cards sector’.

However, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that NVIDIA was the target of the raid that happened on 27 September 2023.

Autorité de la concurrence said the raid was a preliminary step to gather information and investigate if the company is involved in unlawful practices. If necessary, a comprehensive investigation will establish the actual determination of wrongdoing or legal responsibility.

“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,” said the Autorité de la concurrence in a statement.

The authority conducted the raid as part of its increased scrutiny on cloud technology. The broader investigation centres on concerns that cloud computing firms might leverage their computing resources to sideline smaller rivals.

Demand for NVIDIA’s chips rose after ChatGPT’s launch last year. Through a combination of its chips, other hardware, and software, NVIDIA has achieved market share of around 80%. NVIDIA’s valuation reached £820 billion ($1 trillion) in May as result of the AI boom.

In June 2023, France’s competition authority published a market study on cloud computing. In the study, the regulator stressed the importance on assessing the competitive landscape. They also focused on identifying potential risks and market dynamics within the cloud computing sector.

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Written by Tue 3 Oct 2023

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