Even as antitrust regulators of the European Union are expected to launch a full-scale investigation of the acquisition of British chip designer Arm by Nvidia after an initial review, Nvidia is likely to file for approval of the $54 billion takeover deal with the EU antitrust regulator early next month, said reports quoting sources with knowledge of the matter.
The deal for acquisition of Arm was announced last year by the biggest maker of graphics and AI chips of the world. However, the deal announcement also immediately drew in strong opposition from the global semiconductor industry.
For a long time, the role of Arm in the global semiconductor industry has been a neutral one as it licensed its intellectual property to a host of customers who are otherwise intense rivals and included companies such as Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.
However, according to a presentation on its website, support of Arm customers Broadcom, MediaTek and Marvell have been garnered by it for the deal, Nvidia said.
After the filing for approval of the deal with the European Commission, a 25-working day preliminary review will begin. During that period, it is unlikely that Nvidia would offer any concessions, said reports quoting sources. That would result in the regulator initiating a 90-working day full scale antitrust and anti-competition investigation of the deal.
There were reports in June earlier about the likelihood of Nvidia not being able to meet the deadline of March 2022 for the closure of the deal as the EU regulators are mostly reluctant to consider the deal approval till after the summer holidays.
Earlier this year, a report published by the Financial Times claimed that a formal competition probe into the planned takeover was set to be launched by the EU sometime next month.
Last week, the competition regulator of the United Kingdom said that competition could be damaged by the deal while also weakening Nvidia’s rivals and said the approval of the deal should be preceded by a further lengthy investigation.
“This transaction will be beneficial to Arm, its licensees, competition, and the industry. We are working through the regulatory process and we look forward to engaging with the European Commission to address any concerns they may have.” Nvidia said.
There was no comment available from Arm.
Japan’s investment firm SoftBank Group Corp is currently the owner of Arm. The British company is also a crucial player in the global semiconductor industry, which is a technology segment that is fundamental for the global tech industry – ranging from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to 5G telecoms networks.
Its designs power nearly every smartphone and millions of other devices.
(Adapted from TheStar.com)