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UK launches new probe into $40B Nvidia-Arm mega chip deal

The UK government on Tuesday launched a probe into Nvidia’s $40 billion planned acquisition of British semiconductor design company Arm.

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, ordered the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to carry out a phase two investigation, citing “competition” and “national security” concerns.

The probe, which will be carried out in the next six months will also investigate public interest and antitrust concerns related to the acquisition.

The CMA’s July phase one report of an initial probe said the American tech company’s acquisition of Arm has “significant competition concerns,” adding that the “semiconductor technology industry is worth billions of pounds and is critical to many of the products used every day by businesses and consumers across the UK.”

Nvidia announced in August the closure of the deal is unlikely to be completed within an estimated 18-month period due to regulatory investigations.

The deal is set to become the largest chipmaker acquisition if approved, as the world struggles with a semiconductor shortage crisis.

Arm, which was acquired by Japan’s SoftBank in 2016 for $32 billion, has its energy-efficient designed chips used in more than 95% of all smartphones in the world, while it shipped over 160 billion chips worldwide as of February 2020.

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