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Nvidia's market power draws the attention of regulators, French authorities could be the first to act.

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France's antitrust regulator is expected to file charges against Nvidia for alleged anti-competitive practices, according to people familiar with the matter. That would make the French authority the first to take action against the chipmaker. The investigation began with raids on the graphics card industry last September.

Demand for Nvidia chips has increased since the release of ChatGPT, drawing the attention of regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. The French authority expressed concern about the industry's reliance on Nvidia's CUDA chip programming software and the company's investments in AI-focused cloud service providers such as CoreWeave. Companies that violate French antitrust laws face fines of up to 10% of their annual global revenue.

The company said in a regulatory filing that authorities in the EU, China, and France had requested information about its graphics cards, Reuters reports. The European Commission is unlikely to expand its preliminary investigation for now, as the French authority is investigating Nvidia.

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Nvidia raid part of broader investigation into cloud computing sector

Last September, the French competition authority raided Nvidia's local offices on suspicion of anti-competitive practices, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the raid. The raid followed a broader investigation into the cloud computing sector and concerns that companies could use their computing power to squeeze out smaller competitors. Nvidia's combination of chips, hardware, and powerful software had given it a market share of around 80%.

In the U.S., the Department of Justice is leading the investigation into Nvidia, while the Federal Trade Commission is sharing scrutiny of Big Tech, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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Summary
  • ¬†France's antitrust regulator is preparing to file charges against Nvidia for alleged anti-competitive practices, potentially making it the first authority to take action against the chipmaker.
  • The investigation, which began with raids on the graphics card industry last September, focuses on concerns about the industry's reliance on Nvidia's CUDA chip programming software and the company's investments in AI-focused cloud service providers.
  • Nvidia has acknowledged that authorities in the EU, China, and France have requested information about its graphics cards, while in the U.S., the Department of Justice is leading an investigation into the company.
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Max is managing editor at THE DECODER. As a trained philosopher, he deals with consciousness, AI, and the question of whether machines can really think or just pretend to.
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