Probe ordered into Nvidia-Arm takeover
The UK government is expected to order an in-depth investigation into Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of Arm on grounds of antitrust and national security.
That’s according to The Sunday Times, which reported that the newly appointed Digital & Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries will order the Competitions & Market Authority (CMA) to carry out a “phase two” investigation into the acquisition of the Cambridge-based semiconductor company by the US chip giant.
The order is likely to be made this week, the publication claimed, and will see the CMA further scrutinise the potential effects of Softbank’s sale of Arm to Nvidia, which was first announced in September 2020.
Nvidia told IT Pro that it “will continue to work with the UK government to resolve its concerns”.
“A Phase Two process would enable us to demonstrate in detail how the transaction will help accelerate ARM and boost competition and innovation, including in the UK,” the company’s spokesperson said.
In August, following the first phase of its investigation, the CMA found that the acquisition “raises serious competition concerns” that Nvidia’s would prevent its rival chipmakers, including Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, Samsung and Apple, from accessing Arm’s key technologies, “ultimately stifling innovation across a number of important and growing markets”.
“This could end up with consumers missing out on new products, or prices going up,” the watchdog’s chief executive Andrea Coscelli said at the time.
“The chip technology industry is worth billions and is vital to products that businesses and consumers rely on every day. This includes the critical data processing and data centre technology that supports digital businesses across the economy, and the future development of artificial intelligence technologies that will be important to growth industries like robotics and self-driving cars,” he added.
A full investigation into the deal is expected to take around six months. If it is found that the acquisition does, in fact, impact national security, the UK government will have the opportunity to prevent the takeover, or allow it to take place under certain conditions.
On 27 October, the European Commission also launched an “in-depth investigation” into the deal, following reports from earlier this year that the acquisition warrants “serious scrutiny”, according to officials and advisors in Brussels. The deal is also reportedly being closely observed by US and Chinese authorities.
© Dennis Publishing
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