An article/editorial on
takes a critical look at NVIDIA's
GeForce Partner Program
, saying this "impacts consumer choice," and suggests
there may be aspects of the program that are not just anticompetitive, but
illegal (thanks NamecaF). The GPP seems to be a typical marketing program, and
it does not require participants to exclusively use NVIDIA hardware, but
[H]ardOCP says their digging, which they admit was prompted by a suggestion from
NVIDIA competitor AMD, turns up a different story:
sounds like a good program on the surface, but after digging into documentation
and interviews with OEMs and AIBs in the past weeks, the warm and fuzzies
quickly subside. HardOCP has been in the computer hardware review business for
over 20 years now, and we have made an abundance of contacts along the way. In
order for our preparation to write this article, we have spent the last three
weeks talking to OEMs and AIBs in the industry that do business with NVIDIA on a
large scale. Given how GPP is all about "transparency," you might think that
those OEMs and AIBs would be chomping at the bit to get some free press on how
those companies are part of the GPP program.
We have contacted seven companies about their part in NVIDIA GPP and not one of
the seven would talk to us on the record if they spoke to us about it at all.
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. All
of the people that I did interview at AIBs and at OEMs did however have the same
thoughts on GPP. 1.) They think that it has terms that are likely illegal. 2.)
GPP is likely going to tremendously hurt consumers' choices. 3.) It will disrupt
business with the companies that they are currently doing business with, namely
AMD and Intel.
The crux of the issue with NVIDIA GPP comes down to a single requirement in
order to be part of GPP. In order to have access to the GPP program, its
partners must have its "Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce." I have
read documents with this requirement spelled out on it.