On Wednesday morning, Nvidia got a surprise visit from the French authorities at its office in the country as part of an anti-trust inquiry into the chipmaker.
As per the report published by The Wall Street Journal (Paywall), French authorities suspected Nvidia of being engaged in anti-competitive practices in the country. The authorities did not disclose any information related to the raid in the press release and just noted that it involved a company in the “graphics cards sector”, which was Nvidia, as per The Wall Street Journal's sources.
The press release did mention, however, that authorities had suspected the company "of having implemented anticompetitive practices in the graphics cards sector." The investigation into Nvidia is a part of a larger probe into the Cloud Computing industry that was opened by the French authorities earlier this year.
In the initial press release, authorities had noted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to play a huge part in the near future and they don't want big companies to stifle competition.
The Autorité observes that, in the future, several evolutions will potentially have an impact on competition in the sector. Large language models (LLM, such as ChatGPT), edge computing, cloud gaming, cybersecurity issues or the growing importance of its environmental footprint can be mentioned, among others. Competition authorities will have to monitor that established players do not hinder the development of smaller or new players based on these technologies.
Nvidia has benefited greatly from the generative AI boom which helped the company join the exclusive Trillion dollar club. AI also helped Nvidia double its revenue to $13.51 billion in Q2 2023, with the company agreeing to a massive $5 Billion GPU deal with Chinese companies like Alibaba and ByteDance.
Earlier this year, Nvidia also introduced its new GH200 Grace Hopper AI chip which uses the new High Bandwidth Memory 3 E processor.