Apple is not planning a bid on SoftBank’s sale of ARM Limited

SoftBank recently approached Apple to gauge Cupertino’s interest in bidding for chip design firm ARM Limited, Bloomberg News reports, citing “people familiar with the discussions.”

Earlier this month, SoftBank hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on a potential IPO or sale of chip designer Arm Holdings which it acquired in 2016 for about $32 billion.

Apple is not planning a bid on SoftBank's sale of ARM Limited. Image: Apple's Arm-based A13 Bionic SoC
Apple’s ARM-based A13 Bionic SoC is fabricated by TSMC

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

The two firms had preliminary discussions, but Apple isn’t planning to pursue a bid. Arm’s licensing operation would fit poorly with Apple’s hardware focused business model. There may also be regulatory concerns about Apple owning a key licensee that supplies so many rivals.

SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion. That’s more than 10 times larger than Apple’s biggest acquisition to date, its $3 billion deal for Beats Electronics LLC in 2014.

Apple has been involved in similar situations with other partners in the past. When Toshiba Corp. was selling its flash memory business in 2017, Apple invested as part of a consortium.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see where SoftBank’s sale goes, but, if they sell ARM, due to competitive issues, it just might have to be to an as-yet-to-be-formed consortium, in which Apple would likely be a participant.


    1. I agree. They already have what they want, which is an irontight licensing agreement. If you have the leather, why buy the pig? Particularly since this particular pig has antitrust implications.

  1. Softbank is charging quite a bit for the company. When I heard that Nvidia is making a bid for ARM Limited, I felt a bit nervous. If NVidia ends up buying the company, Apple will likely get screwed again in the future because Apple has had such a long-running feud with Nvidia. Oh, well… I know very little about what would be the best move for Apple. I can only hope for the best.

    1. Thankfully the work is free from the forking monstrosities that John Dangler claims is art. Half the time Dangler seems to dangle his teabags into some paint and then dangles said teabags over a canvas, sometimes smearing them, too.

      It’s artful, I guess, or is that art fool? Need to ask applecynic, he’s an expert at being a fool.

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