The Second Phase Begins In The UK
It has been a year since NVIDIA made a $40 billion offer to purchase ARM and some time since we have seen an update on the challenges NVIDIA’s purchase of ARM is facing. Qualcomm certainly had objections, so did the FTC in the US and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, and now there is a second investigation being launched in the UK. This second phase of the CMA’s investigation was launched by the Digital and Culture Secretary in the UK, Nadine Dorries.
As you might expect the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have any comment at this time, and NVIDIA simply repeated it’s intent to “continue to work” with the UK government to address concerns, so the details are rather scarce. As the first challenge from the UK focused solely on anti-trust concerns it is likely this investigation will expand the scope to include national security fears. ARM processors have been a major part of some of the UK’s national infrastructure, including the National Health Service, so a non-UK based company gaining ownership of that silicon has upset some members of the UK government.
The investigation is slated to last for six months, so we can expect even more delays on a decision to allow the acquisition to continue or not. There are also likely to be even more challenges from other countries and companies in the coming months, so we can’t expect a resolution any time soon.
The tech firm has focused its energy so far on downplaying concerns about ARM's neutrality if the deal closes, promising an open licensing model that treats customers fairly.