It is widely accepted that NVIDIA controls more than 80% of the accelerator market for artificial intelligence systems, and the cost of each accelerator is in the tens of thousands of dollars. This issue apparently doesn’t sit well with French regulators, as police raids on NVIDIA offices in France were revealed this week.
This incident became known the day before The Wall Street Journal, although the French authorities officially hide the name of the company in whose offices the investigative measures were carried out. Security forces reportedly arrived at the company’s offices in France early this morning to carry out a search to question employees arriving at work and to gain advance control of the situation. According to French officials, the events took place in the context of an alleged violation of antitrust law in the corporate sector related to the sale of graphics cards. If we use a loose interpretation, computing accelerators can basically be attributed to graphics cards since both are based on graphics processors. Another concern for French regulators, according to the source, is the possibility of forcing smaller players out of the market that cannot compete with NVIDIA.
According to information from the WSJ, French authorities suspect NVIDIA of abusing its position in the cloud market. Both the company’s rapid revenue growth and its capitalization, which is reaching the $1 trillion mark, clearly indicate that the business is on the upswing, and this is unlikely to please regulators. It is emphasized that NVIDIA is not officially accused of anything and the conduct of the searches does not indicate that the French authorities have strong confidence in abuses on the part of the company. The searches are part of a campaign that French authorities launched in late June after a government agency published a report on the state of the cloud market. NVIDIA representatives declined to comment on the situation.