EU and British Investigate the Acquisition of Chip Designer Arm

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The European Commission and the British market watchdog CMA will further investigate the acquisition of chip designer Arm by chipmaker Nvidia.


Last year, the American Nvidia agreed to acquire the British Arm for up to $ 40 billion from the Japanese tech investor SoftBank. The Arm does not make chips himself but developed a kind of blueprint for processors, the so-called instruction set.

On the basis of this blueprint, the company continuously designs new, faster chips. It then sells those designs to chip makers who can make or modify them themselves.

Almost all smartphones in the world work on Arm chips. Major tech companies such as Samsung and Apple take a license from Arm, but other chip makers such as Qualcomm are also British customers. That raised concerns about the acquisition, as those companies are direct competitors of Nvidia.

Large companies have therefore expressed their concerns to regulators. According to them, Arm’s neutrality, in particular, is at stake, although Nvidia says that this is not the case.

The rivals of the maker of chips and graphics cards, however, are afraid that Nvidia will get an edge and that its own techniques will also work better with Arm. They wonder why Nvidia would otherwise spend so much money on the chip designer.

The CMA previously announced that it would like to see whether Arm licenses’ prices will go up for rivals of Nvidia. The British would also want guarantees for the number of jobs at Arm.

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