Nvidia has reportedly been raided by French authorities, presumably in their Courbevoie office.
As reported by Tom’s Hardware, the French competition regulator, named the Autorité de la concurrence, revealed that they conducted a dawn raid on what they describe as a ‘company in the graphics card sector.’
While the regulator did not name the company in question, the Wall Street Journal’s sources claim that the company that was subject to the raid was Nvidia.
The Autorité de la concurrence also explained in their report that “such dawn raids do not pre-suppose the existence of a breach of the law which could be imputed to the company involved in the alleged practices, which only a full investigation into the merits of the case could establish, if appropriate.”
In a dawn raid, authorities arrive at a company’s offices early in the morning, to interview personnel, and confiscate physical and digital materials. This raid is part of a bigger operation where the Autorité de la concurrence is investigating potential unfair competition in the realm of cloud computing.
The timing for this investigation is interesting, as Microsoft themselves have their own cloud computing business in the form of their Azure business. Other major players in cloud computing are Google and Amazon.
Microsoft, of course, has a contract with Nvidia, to bring Activision Blizzard games to their cloud streaming service GeForce Now. While it’s possible that there is a connection, or there could be consequences, between this investigation and Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, there are no direct connections between them right now.
If anything, these raids may concern another game console company, Nvidia’s client Nintendo. While Nintendo has reportedly started demonstrating the capabilities of their next console, dubbed by leakers as the Switch 2, they are still reliant on Nvidia to manufacture their SOCs for that platform.
Nvidia is currently the world’s largest fabless chip designer. While they dip their toes into many fields, including making chips for automated vehicles, and consumer GPUs for PC gaming, their biggest current moneymaker is the AI boom, fueled by the rise of ChatGPT. Nvidia has also seen unprecedented success in the past with sales of their chips to investors in the blockchain fad a few years back.
With all that said, we aren’t 100 % sure that Nvidia was the company raided at all, much less that they were the target of said investigation. We will certainly find out in time what the French authorities were looking for, and if Nvidia, and the gaming industry, will be drawn into this one way or the other.