The global AI chip manufacturer, Nvidia, based in California, has recently found itself at the center of an unexpected storm in France. The company’s French establishments were subject to an unexpected police raid. This act coincides with an ongoing investigation by French competition authorities into the complex cloud computing sector.
Delving into the matter, the French competition regulator, the Autorité de la Concurrence, subtly references this event on their official website. A detailed statement discusses an ‘unplanned intervention in the graphics card domain.’ The fundamental reason for this act, as indicated by the agency’s statements, stems from a suspicion surrounding Nvidia’s potentially anti-competitive behavior in this field. Despite the dramatic connotations of the raid, the agency quickly added a note of caution, stating that such action does not necessarily imply Nvidia’s violation of the law.
Interestingly, while Nvidia is under the spotlight, the broader landscape of the investigation presents a different picture. The deep dive by the Autorité de la Concurrence into the cloud computing ecosystem, shared in June 2023, astonishingly omits any mention of Nvidia. Instead, the report highlights industry giants: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Together, these three titans, nicknamed ‘hyperscalers,’ have dominated an impressive 80% of the increase in public spending on the cloud in France for the year 2021. The regulatory body presents alarming data: Amazon and Microsoft amassed 46% and 17% of the 2021 revenue from IaaS and PaaS services. Their vast financial power, coupled with digital influence, positions them to potentially stifle competitive growth.