Sacré bleu! Nvidia, France, and Antitrust

A lot is going on in France these days, not the least of which is the French competition authority’s (Autorité de la Concurrence) scrutinization of Nvidia for anti-competitive practices.

The authority has already raided Nvidia based on suspicion of anti-competitive practices in the graphics cards sector. Now, however, they are concerned about generative artificial intelligence.

However, Nvidia isn’t alone under the microscope, according to a report from the Autorité. They are also looking at Amazon, Apple, and Meta. Nvidia is the only IT component supplier named explicitly in the report, cited as “the risk of abuse by chip providers.”

According to the report, potential risks include price fixing, production restrictions, unfair contractual conditions, and discriminatory behavior. Also mentioned is dependence on Nvidia’s CUDA chip programming software (the only one that is 100% compatible with the GPUs necessary for accelerated computing).

The Autorité is also watching Nvidia’s investments in AI-focused cloud service providers such as CoreWeave.

Nvidia alternatives are popping up – but maybe not in time to prevent these charges.

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