Friday, March 9th 2018

NVIDIA's New GPP Program Reportedly Engages in Monopolistic Practices

A report from HardOCP's Kyle Bennet aims to shake NVIDIA's foundations, with allegations of anti-competitive business practices under its new GeForce Partner Program (GPP). In his report, which started with an AMD approach that pushed him to look a little closer into GPP, Bennet says that he has found evidence that NVIDIA's new program aims to push partners towards shunning products from other hardware manufacturers - mainly AMD, with a shoot across the bow for Intel.

After following the breadcrumb trail and speaking with NVIDIA AIBs and OEM partners ("The ones that did speak to us have done so anonymously, in fear of losing their jobs, or having retribution placed upon them or their companies by NVIDIA," Bennett says), the picture is painted of an industry behemoth that aims to abuse its currently dominant market position. NVIDIA controls around 70% of the discrete GPU market share, and its industrious size is apparently being put to use to outmuscle its competitors' offerings by, essentially, putting partners between the proverbial rock and a hard place. According to Bennet, industry players unanimously brought about three consequences from Nvidia's GPP, saying that "They think that it has terms that are likely illegal; GPP is likely going to tremendously hurt consumers' choices; It will disrupt business with the companies that they are currently doing business with, namely AMD and Intel."
The crux of the issue seems to be in that NVIDIA, while publicly touting transparency, is hiding some not so transparent clauses from the public's view. Namely, the fact that in order to become a part of NVIDIA's GPP program, partners must have its "Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce." Bennet says that he has read NVIDIA papers, and these very words, in internal documents meant for NVIDIA's partners only; however, none of these have been made available as of time of writing, though that may be an effort to protect sources.

But what does this "exclusivity" mean? That partners would have to forego products from other brands (case in point, AMD) in order to be granted the GeForce partner status. And what do companies who achieve GPP status receive? Well, enough that it would make competition from other NVIDIA AIBs that didn't make the partner program extremely difficult - if not unfeasible. This is because GPP-branded companies would receive perks such as: high-effort engineering engagements (likely, aids to custom designs); early tech engagement; launch partner status (as in, being able to sell GeForce-branded products at launch date); game bundling; sales rebate programs; social media and PR support; marketing reports; and the ultimate kicker, Marketing Development Funds (MDF). This last one may be known to our more attentive readers, as it was part of Intel's "Intel Inside" marketing program which spurred... a pretty incredible anti-trust movement against the company.

As a result of covering this story, HardOCP's Kyle Bennet says he expects the website to be shunned from now on when it comes to NVIDIA or NVIDIA partner graphics cards being offered for review purposes. Whether or not that will happen, I guess time will time; as time will tell whether or not there is indeed any sort of less... transparent plays taking place here. Sources: HardOCP, NVIDIA GeForce Partner Program
Add your own comment

317 Comments on NVIDIA's New GPP Program Reportedly Engages in Monopolistic Practices

#1
Steevo
Fornicate Nvidia with the thorny branch of justice.

Perhaps their new chip is a flop, or they know something about the competition.
Posted on Reply
#2
natr0n
The word Partner indicates no other than the said partner. It doesn't take a genius to figure that shit out.
Posted on Reply
#3
oxidized
"Steevo said:
Fornicate Nvidia with the thorny branch of justice.

Perhaps their new chip is a flop, or they know something about the competition.
Yeah i've been hearing this for the last decade or more...
Posted on Reply
#4
Vya Domus
"Steevo said:


Perhaps their new chip is a flop, or they know something about the competition.
Probably neither , they have grown to a point when they can literally buy market share or force themselves upon consumers/partners. Intel has done it , it was only a matter of time for them to do it as well.
Posted on Reply
#6
GhostRyder
I for one am totally shocked by these allegations.
Posted on Reply
#7
bug
Quite frankly, the only beef with that arrangement seems to be that Nvidia wants gaming oriented lines that are exclusive to Nvidia. This could be as harmless as, say, forcing Asus to split their ROG line in ROG - Nvidia or ROG - GeForce and ROG - AMD or ROG Radeon. But I'm no lawyer, I don't really know how that agreement could be read in a court of justice. Still, I'd like a little more detail about what and how it is anti-competitve before I reach for my pitchfork.
Posted on Reply
#8
oxidized
"bug said:
Quite frankly, the only beef with that arrangement seems to be that Nvidia wants gaming oriented lines that are exclusive to Nvidia. This could be as harmless as, say, forcing Asus to split their ROG line in ROG - Nvidia or ROG - GeForce and ROG - AMD or ROG Radeon. But I'm no lawyer, I don't really know how that agreement could be read in a court of justice. Still, I'd like a little more detail about what and how it is anti-competitve before I reach for my pitchfork.
When nvidia's the talk, just grab the pitchfork because they're bad guys :fear:
Posted on Reply
#9
Fluffmeister
This does kinda blow Kyle's apparent Nvidia bias out of the water.
Posted on Reply
#10
bug
"oxidized said:
When nvidia's the talk, just grab the pitchfork because they're bad guys :fear:
I know, but it gets tiresome after a while.
And it doesn't have to be Nvidia. It can be Intel. Or Apple. Or Google. Any top dog will do.
Posted on Reply
#11
Steevo
"Vya Domus said:
Probably neither , they have grown to a point when they can literally buy market share or force themselves upon consumers/partners. Intel has done it , it was only a matter of time for them to do it as well.
Intel had this same reaction when they only had Nutburst architecture and AMD was kicking their ass.
Posted on Reply
#12
RejZoR
No way, really? It's NVIDIA, they'll never change no matter what.
Posted on Reply
#13
TheGuruStud
It's literally their entire business model. No one should even blink.
Posted on Reply
#14
Imsochobo
"oxidized said:
When nvidia's the talk, just grab the pitchfork because they're bad guys :fear:
Well, it's not the first time they do weird things.
Every time they get pushed out of their markets and usually the sinner being Intel they go all mental.
When they have bad archs and cards the gameworks increase.

It's not often it happens, but they seem to go a bit mental when it's the case (Not often with Nvidia it has to be said)

At the moment they do not have Anything to fear but I wonder why they do this?

In preparation because Intel and AMD collab project AAAND Intel saying they wanna go gpu ?

at this point a 50% marketshare is given with Nvidia solely by GeForce name and won't change for many years regardless of how bad their arch is and they are the major player for datacenter with no major competition for generic datacenter.
Custom datacenter solutions with custom software stacks utilize AMD effectively (too) but Nvidia Owns out of the box solutions with Cuda there.

I don't understand why, but I don't like exclusivity programs that have stuff that will affect Asus, Gigabyte and the big players big time
Posted on Reply
#15
bug
"Imsochobo said:
Well, it's not the first time they do weird things.
...
At the moment they do not have Anything to fear but I wonder why they do this?
As I have noted above (and this a general question, not aimed directly at you), can you spell out which part of this agreement you have a problem with?
Posted on Reply
#16
etayorius
It's usual nVidia behavior, they always been jerks. Nothing to new.
Posted on Reply
#17
Fluffmeister
"Steevo said:
Perhaps their new chip is a flop, or they know something about the competition.
Probably the latter, AKA a lack of.

Maybe they do have a killer gamer focused arch ready to launch... AIBs do you want a slice of the pie or not?

It's hard to give a shit either way with all the choice consumers currently have.
Posted on Reply
#18
Vya Domus
"Fluffmeister said:
Probably the latter, AKA a lack of.

Maybe they do have a killer gamer focused arch ready to launch...
Yeah , we know the drill , Nvidia is amazing. Always prepared with amazing new products , never makes one mistake and all for the good of the consumer.
Posted on Reply
#19
Fluffmeister
"Vya Domus said:
Yeah , we know the drill , Nvidia is amazing. Always prepared with amazing new products , never makes one mistake and all for the good of the consumer.
Yeah we know, Nvidia are evil... grab the Vaseline.
Posted on Reply
#20
Vya Domus
"Fluffmeister said:
Nvidia are evil... grab the Vaseline.
Only if one enjoys it.
Posted on Reply
#21
evernessince
Would be funny if AMD and Intel only make PCIe 2.0 x4 available to Nvidia cards. They could have their chipsets force that speed when an Nvidia card is detected. Fair is fair, right Nvidia?
Posted on Reply
#22
Fluffmeister
"evernessince said:
Would be funny if AMD and Intel only make PCIe 2.0 x4 available to Nvidia cards. They could have their chipsets force that speed when an Nvidia card is detected. Fair is fair, right Nvidia?
Hehe that probably sums it up, AMD and Intel are desperate to slow Nvidia down. Hence them getting into bed together.

Anti-competitive only when it suits eh?
Posted on Reply
#23
iO
"bug said:
As I have noted above (and this a general question, not aimed directly at you), can you spell out which part of this agreement you have a problem with?
How about the part where they almost force the AIBs to sign up if they want to stay launch partners, receive more than just ref PCB designs or dont want to be degraded to 2nd class customers..
Posted on Reply
#25
Prima.Vera
nVidia, Intel.... Nothing new under the sun.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment