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UK Orders Antitrust Probe into Nvidia’s $40 billion Arms Deal

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The UK government is asking its antitrust regulator for an investigation into Nvidia’s $40 Billion deal to buy Arm.
Nadine Dorries, Digital Secretary, said that the antitrust watchdog would investigate the deal for six months.
Customers of Arm are concerned that the deal could jeopardize its status as a neutral supplier.

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The UK has ordered Tuesday’s in-depth investigation into Nvidia Corp.’s $50 billion+ acquisition of Arm, the UK-based chip design company, from Japan’s SoftBank. It is concerned about antitrust and national safety 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.

She said that Arm has a unique position in the global technology supply chain, and she must ensure that the implications of this transaction is fully considered.

“The CMA will now make a report to me regarding competition and national security grounds, and give advice on the next steps.”

Nvidia, the largest maker of graphics and AI chip in the world, agreed to purchase Arm from SoftBank in September 2020. This triggered a backlash from Arm’s customers, many which compete with the U.S. buyers.

Chipmakers like Apple, Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics use Arm’s technology to make their processors.

Nvidia has pledged that it will maintain the neutrality which has been so important to Arm’s success. It has sold 180 billion chips to-date, and its technology powers almost all smartphones.

Britain stated that although not all devices using Arm based chips were necessarily considered critical, the security and resilience provided by the wider supply chain was crucial for UK national security.

Nvidia stated it would address the CMA’s initial concerns regarding competition, which were raised in August by the regulator, and would continue to work closely with the British government to complete the deal.

A spokesperson stated that Phase 2 will allow us to show that the transaction will accelerate Arm and boost competition, innovation, and even the UK.

The deal is now worth well over $50 billion because of a rise in Nvidia share price.

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