At dawn on Wednesday, French antitrust authorities conducted a surprise raid on a company in the country that specializes in graphics cards — and according to The Wall Street Journal and Challenges business magazine, that company was NVIDIA. We reached out to NVIDIA for clarification and a spokesperson declined to comment. Here's what we know for sure:
The French Competition Authority conducted a surprise raid early Wednesday morning on "a company suspected of having implemented anticompetitive practices in the graphics cards sector," according to a brief press release from the regulator. The raid was tied to a larger investigation into the health of the cloud computing market, with a focus on identifying whether new companies were being unfairly squeezed out by larger, existing ones. The results of that investigation were published in June and they centered on three "hyperscalers," Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
The results read, in part, "The likelihood of a new operator being able to gain market share rapidly appears limited, excluding companies who are already powerful in other digital markets." NVIDIA is not mentioned in the original cloud investigation.
NVIDIA has seen significant financial success this year amid the AI boom. NVIDIA's AI chips and data centers are in high demand, and the company crushed its most recent earnings expectations, pulling in $13.51 billion in the second quarter of 2023, compared with $6.7 billion in 2022.
As the French Competition Authority noted, a raid does not mean the targeted company is guilty of anticompetitive practices — but it's a confident step from the regulatory body.