The UK government is considering blocking Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm due to ‘potential risks to national security’. That reports financial news agency Bloomberg. No final decision has been made yet.
A review by UK market regulator CMA contains “worrying implications for national security,” sources report to Bloomberg . Therefore, the UK would currently be tempted to reject the takeover, says an anonymous source familiar with the discussions within the British government. No final decision has been made yet, and the United Kingdom may still approve the deal, subject to certain conditions being met, the sources add.
The UK is likely to conduct a more in-depth investigation into the acquisition first, due to these national security concerns. Oliver Dowden, the British minister who opened the investigation into Nvidia’s ARM acquisition in April , will soon decide whether competition authorities should investigate further.
Nvidia reports to Reuters that it is going through the regulatory process with the UK government. “We look forward to their questions and expect to resolve any issues,” an Nvidia spokesperson told that medium. UK competition authorities have not responded to Bloomberg’s report.
Nvidia announced last year that it plans to acquire Arm for $40 billion. The company plans to leverage Arm’s technologies to strengthen its position in the artificial intelligence systems market. The takeover plans were met with criticism. Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm have raised concerns about the acquisition with regulators in several countries and regions. Arm’s co-founder stated last year that the acquisition by Nvidia “is disastrous for Arm’s business model.”
Arm licenses its chip designs and the Arm instruction set architecture to its customers, who can base their own chips on them. Arm customers fear that it will become more difficult or more expensive in the future to purchase Arm licenses for competitors of Nvidia, which also designs chips itself. Nvidia promised in the acquisition plans that Arm will maintain its open licensing model and neutral stance towards customers.
Several competition authorities are currently considering the acquisition. Earlier reports stated that the acquisition plans would be delayed. For example, The Information writes that China is delaying the takeover. The Chinese market regulators have not yet started the formal assessment of the acquisition. Nvidia would also have missed the summer deadline to submit documents to the European Commission, which means that the review process of the European competition authorities can only start after the summer holidays, The Telegraph wrote in late July.