Nvida acquisition of ARM should face full inquiry recommends competition watchdog

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Nvidia Corpoation’s proposed US$40bn acquisition of UK chip designer Arm Holding PLC should face a full competition probe according to UK regulators after finding serious competition concerns.


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the deal could harm the competitiveness of Nvidia’s’s rivals by restricting access to Arm’s processing IP and impairing interoperability between related products, “so as to benefit NVIDIA’s downstream activities and increase its profits”.


That could also lead to a loss of competition and stifle innovation across a number of markets leading to more expensive, or lower quality products, the CMA added.


Nvidia has offered a behavioural remedy but this was not sufficient to alleviate its concerns added the watchdog.


In April, the UK government ordered the CMA to undertake a preliminary study on national security grounds, the results of which were published today, after persistent criticism about the deal from observers and those in the industry.


Herman Hauser, one of Arm’s co-founders, was especially vocal about the deal and said it would create the next tech monopoly alongside Google, Facebook and Amazon and be a disaster for the UK, Europe and the tech industry.


Cambridge-based chip designer Arm licenses its IP to hundreds of manufacturers to power mobile phones, laptops, tablets and increasingly artificial intelligence applications, where US group Nvidia is keen to grow.


Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, will decide if any inquiry is carried out by the CMA and purely focused on competition issues or also covers national security concerns.

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