EU Begins Formal Investigation into Nvidia ARM Acquisition

Nvidia submitted its proposal to acquire chip company Arm to the EU this week. The European Commission has thus started a formal competition investigation into the takeover.

Nvidia submitted the proposal to the European Commission on Wednesday, Bloomberg writes. The committee will soon make a first judgment about the acquisition, after which it will be examined whether a more in-depth investigation is necessary. The European Commission has a provisional deadline of 13 October for this, according to a submission on the EU website.

The European Commission is expected to take a few more months after October 13 to conduct a more extensive investigation, Reuters news agency reported in August. That’s because Arm’s customers and Nvidia’s competitors are critical of the proposed acquisition, partly because they fear that Arm’s licensing model will be compromised. Companies such as Microsoft, Google and Qualcomm have raised concerns with regulators.

Bloomberg writes that the EU is likely to extend its investigation for “at least four months” to analyze possible competition problems. Nvidia itself promises that Arm will maintain its open licensing model and neutral stance towards customers after the acquisition. Nvidia initially indicated that it wants to complete the acquisition by March 2022.

In addition to the EU, competition authorities from several other countries are also investigating the takeover. The British market watchdog is critical of the takeover, and has previously indicated that it wants an in-depth investigation into its potential consequences. In early August, Bloomberg wrote that the UK may want to block the ARM takeover on the grounds of “potential risks to national security.” China’s market regulator is also investigating the acquisition. The Information previously wrote that China plans to “delay” the acquisition.