Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm Ltd on further hold amidst national investigation

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The arm is currently owned by the Japanese investment bank Softbank and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. And when Nvidia offered to acquire Arm many tech giants and industrialists raised their objection against the deal stating that it will give the graphics chip manufacturer an unfair advantage in the datacentre segment.

According to recent sources, Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition offer for British chip design house Arm. Ltd. has been referred by the U.K. Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Mr Oliver Dowden, to the country’s Competiton and Markets Authority (CMA) for an investigation. It will determine the deal goes against British national security.

The investigation is taking place because if the deal is passed, then the combined revenue of the new entity will exceed £1 million, and Arm’s ownership will be transferred from Softbank to NVIDIA. So the investigation is being carried to determine if one or more of four public interests under the Enterprise Act will be harmed due to an acquisition. These interests involve a threat to national security, news presentation and freedom of speech, financial system stability, and public health considerations.

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NVIDIA, however, states that it is willing to enter legally binding agreements with the British government for the Arms deal. On the other hand, British Trade Union has raised concerns about the deal’s threat to British national interest. British Member of Parliament for Cambridge Daniel Zeichner (Labor) put forward the union’s concerns before the government, with government spokesperson promising investigating should they determine that the deal threatens the U.K.

NVIDIA’s chief executive officer Mr Jen-Hsun Huang has promised to protect Arm’s business model post-acquisition, and stated that,

I’m very confident that the regulators will see the wisdom of the transaction. It will provide a surge of innovation. It will create new options for the marketplace. It will allow ARM to be expanded into markets that otherwise are difficult for them to reach themselves. Like many of the partnerships I announced, those are bringing AI to the ARM ecosystem, bringing Nvidia’s accelerated computing platform to the ARM ecosystem — it’s something only a bunch of computing companies working together we can do. The regulators will see its wisdom, and our discussions with them are as expected and constructive. I’m confident that we’ll still get the deal done in 2022, which is when we expected it in the first place, about 18 months.

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