The UK is not satisfied with a first evaluation of Arm’s acquisition plans by Nvidia. An in-depth additional study could take much longer in 2022.
The acquisition plans of Nvidia meet with increasing reluctance. The GPU specialist wants to buy poor but those plans are getting wind of the wind. The acquisition would put Nvidia on an equal footing with AMD and Intel in one fell swoop. The inclusion of Arm and therefore ARM architecture in its own portfolio drives Nvidia from GPU farmer to chip specialist with expertise in CPUs and accelerators.
On the other hand, Arm now sells ARM designs as an independent party to many parties that de facto compete with Nvidia. This independence threatens to disappear in the event of a takeover.
Deeper research requested
Arm is currently owned by the Japanese Investment Group Softbank, but is originally a British company. The UK is not eager to drop Arm into American hands. After an initial investigation into the acquisition, the regulator on the other side of the channel would now start a so-called ‘phase 2’investigation. The basis for this is questions of national security on the one hand, and concerns about antitrust law on the other.
In any event, the further investigation will delay the acquisition plans further. The acquisition cannot continue until all the relevant parties give their consent. For the UK, a deadline for the end of 2022 with the additional survey seems unrealistic. Nvidia, for its part, wants to work with the UK Government to push concerns aside. The company indicates that it will explain in detail how it can improve poor and will not harm competition.