U.K. Set to Order In-Depth Probe Into Nvidia-Arm Deal: Times
(Bloomberg) -- The British government may order an in-depth investigation into Nvidia Corp.’s $40 billion bid for U.K.-based chip developer Arm Ltd. this week, The Sunday Times reported.
U.K. digital and culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is set to order a phase 2 probe and will instruct the competition watchdog to carry out an inquiry into antitrust and national security concerns, the paper said, without citing where it got the information. The inquiry is expected to be announced on Tuesday, it said.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority has already warned the deal could allow Nvidia to cut off its rivals’ access to Arm’s ubiquitous and power-efficient designs used in technology ranging from data centers to smartphones. While Dorries must accept the CMA’s decision in relation to competition, she has the final decision on national security, The Sunday Times said.
The European Commission opened a longer probe into the deal last month, saying the deal risks “higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation.”
Rivals and chip customers have criticized the deal when it was announced more than a year ago. Qualcomm Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have voiced complaints that Nvidia’s control of Arm’s licenses for essential chip technology could threaten the Cambridge, England-based chip designer’s role as a neutral partner.
The government declined to comment to The Sunday Times. Nvidia said it will work with the U.K. government to resolve its concerns, and a phase 2 process would allow it to show how the transaction would help accelerate Arm.
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