Nvidia’s proposed $40 billion Arm acquisition could hinge on Europe

Nvidia Corp may not be able to meet a March 2022 deadline for closing its $40 billion acquisition of British chip technology firm Arm Ltd due to European regulators’ reluctance to consider the case until after the summer holidays, Reuters reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Arm Ltd. logo

Stephen Nellis and Foo Yun Chee for Reuters:

Nvidia announced the Arm deal last year, sparking an immediate backlash in the semiconductor industry, where Arm has long been a neutral player licensing key intellectual property to customers who are otherwise intense rivals, including Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.

The company needs regulatory approval from U.S., European and Chinese authorities, all of which are expected to scrutinize the transaction closely.

Nvidia has not yet filed an application to clear the deal with the European Commission. Officials there have made it clear to the company that they need until September to gather enough information to accept Nvidia’s formal application for approval, according to three people familiar with the matter.

That could make it difficult for Nvidia to close the deal by March of next year as planned, these people said…

The fear among chip firms is that Nvidia will give itself early access to Arm’s innovations rather than distributing them to the entire industry on an equal basis. Nvidia and Arm officials have told Reuters they intend to keep “firewalls” in place at the combined company to prevent that from happening.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last September, “This is a long way from being a done deal as the regulatory approvals are numerous.”

3 Comments

  1. “The fear among chip firms is that Nvidia will give itself early access to Arm’s innovations rather than distributing them to the entire industry on an equal basis. Nvidia and Arm officials have told Reuters they intend to keep “firewalls” in place at the combined company to prevent that from happening.”

    Or… they can keep innovations to themselves to supply SoC and CPUs to the industry and displace Intel while countering AMD and Apple. Maybe.

  2. My preference is to split “ownership”. Apple pays, say, 25% to the EU to help them pay the balance. Apple would probably be happy ending their royalties while continuing to get technical updates. The EU protects EU companies and consumers from competitor attacks in the ARM environment. I don’t care if new EU Tech Developments is limited to the EU for the first year. Nor do I care if Apple keeps their R&D to them selves for a few years.

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