UK torchlights Nvidia’s Arm acquisition

Britain on Tuesday ordered an in-depth investigation of Nvidia Corp’s planned $50 billion-plus acquisition of UK-based chip designer Arm from Japan’s SoftBank over antitrust and national security concerns.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said Britain’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) would investigate the deal over the next six months, adding to scrutiny already underway in Europe and China.

Nvidia, the world’s biggest maker of graphics and AI chips, agreed to buy Arm from SoftBank in September 2020 for up to $40 billion in cash and stock, triggering a backlash from Arm’s customers, many of which compete with the U.S. buyer.

Arm’s technology is used by chipmakers, such as Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Apple, to produce their own processors.

Nvidia has pledged to maintain the neutrality that has been central to Arm’s success, with 180 billion chips shipped to-date and its technology powering nearly all smartphones.

Britain said however that while not all devices using Arm-based chips were necessarily classed as critical in themselves, the security and resilience of the broader supply chain was important for UK national security.

Nvidia said it planned to address the CMA’s initial concerns on competition, which the regulator flagged in August, and would continue to work with the British government over the deal.

A rise in Nvidia’s share price has increased the value of the deal to well above $50 billion.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *