UK to examine Nvidia-ARM deal

January 11, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Nvidia-ARM deal under investigation in UK
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to examine the takeover of ARM by Nvidia.

Graphics chip vendor Nvidia Corp. agreed to buy intellectual property licensor ARM from Japan's SoftBank Group in September last year, subject to regulatory approval. If success, the deal would be the biggest merger in the history of the semiconductor sector.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said interested third parties have until January 27 2021 to provide any initial views on the impact the proposed deal could have on competition in the UK. Further opportunities to submit views are expected when the CMA begins its investigation, but there is no set date for that at present.

The CMA's remit under the Enterprise Act 2002 is only on whether the merger would "substantially lessen" competition within any markets for goods and services in the UK. The CMA does not consider a merger's impact on employment or industrial strategy.

As a separate consideration, the UK government could ban the takeover on national security grounds, but as ARM is owned by Japan's SoftBank Group, as a result of an acquisition allowed in 2016, that seems unlikely.

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