The Autorité de la concurrence, France's primary competition regulator, released a statement Wednesday saying that they had "carried out a dawn raid at the premises of a company suspected of having implemented anticompetitive practices in the graphics cards sector." This statement goes on to say that the raid was part of a wider investigation into competition in the cloud sector, and emphasises that this does not pre-suppose that any breach of competition law has taken place.
In June 2023 the Autorité released a commissioned study on the cloud sector which identified key players, highlighted potential areas of market failure, and gave recommendations that could inform future competition law and enforcement action by National and EU regulators. It's notable that both Large Language Models (the technological basis for many current AI models) and cloud gaming are called out in the tail end of this report.
Subsequent to the raid the Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the matter, confirmed that NVIDIA's offices in France were the subject of the action. While there is some speculation that the motive might be alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the cloud sector, chiefly due to NVIDIA's position as market leader in providing chips for AI training and inferencing, this could also be a fact-finding mission by French authorities keen to stand up to Big Tech companies as they disrupt all manner of industries with advances in AI.
NVIDIA, for their part, have yet to comment on the matter.
SOURCES: Wall Street Journal, autoritedelaconcurrence.fr