The British regulator wants further to investigate the acquisition of the chipmaker Arm by Nvidia. At best, that slows down the file, but it can also lead to a blockage of the billion-dollar deal.
Nvidia, known for the graphics cards, made a $40 billion offer in September last year for Arm, which has been owned by Japan’s Softbank since 2016. The acquisition is one of the largest in the technology sector.
Now the Competition and Markets Authority says it will investigate the acquisition further amid fears it would distort competition. “We are concerned that Nvidia-owned Arm could cause problems for Nvidia’s competitors by restricting access to key technology and stifle innovation in several important and growing markets,” said Andrea Coscelli, head of the Competition and Markets Authority.
The arm is known as a neutral party that works with the main players in the chip sector. The company does not make chips itself but does design them. The fear is that that model under Nvidia’s management will come under pressure.
Reuters notes that the deal is now also politically charged. For example, in Great Britain, there would be little incentive to sell Arm again after five years at Softbank. But it also states that the entire acquisition is currently unclear.
Normally, such a file promises that a player will discard parts that pose a threat to the competition. For example, Nvidia would have already made proposals to limit the distortion of competition, but that was not enough for the regulator. Nvidia hopes to complete the acquisition by March 2022. The final deadline for this is September 2022.