Britain’s competition regulator said on Wednesday it would start an investigation into Nvidia’s $40 billion deal to buy UK-based chip designer Arm Holdings from Japanese multinational SoftBank Group.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was “likely to consider whether, following the takeover, Arm has an incentive to withdraw, raise prices or reduce the quality of its IP licensing services to Nvidia’s rivals.”
Nvidia, the biggest U.S. chip company by market capitalisation, struck a deal with Japan’s SoftBank Group in September to buy Arm.
Arm supplies intellectual property to Apple, Qualcomm and a host of others for chips that power nearly all of the world’s smartphones.
Nvidia has pledged to retain Arm’s open-licensing model and keep the customer neutrality that it said had been one of the foundations of its success, both as an independent company and under SoftBank ownership.
It will install “firewalls” to ensure it does not access confidential information from Arm’s customers, some of which would be its competitors, or get early access to Arm’s products, a top Arm executive has told Reuters.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in September, “This is a long way from being a done deal as the regulatory approvals are numerous.”