The UK presses pause on NVIDIA’s $40 biillion Arm acquistion

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NVIDIA’s Arm purchase has just hit a snag as the UK today announced that it would be halting the $40 billion deal pending the results of a probe.

The UK’s Competiton and Markets Authority, or CMA, will be investigating the transaction. It will then issue a report focusing on “jurisdictional and competition issues” alongside a summary of any representations it receives on potential national security issues arising from a consultation it will launch to gather third-party views. One might imagine Qualcomm and Graphcore would have a lot to contribute to the third party views section, for example. Alongside this, the UK government will delve into the national security implications, noting the implications of the purchase around 5G and AI, for example.

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In a press release issued today, the UK’s Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Following careful consideration of the proposed takeover of ARM, I have today issued an intervention notice on national security grounds.

As a next step and to help me gather the relevant information, the UK’s independent competition authority will now prepare a report on the implications of the transaction, which will help inform any further decisions.

We want to support our thriving UK tech industry and welcome foreign investment, but it is appropriate that we properly consider the national security implications of a transaction like this.

As per Reuters, NVIDIA says that there are no national security concerns arising from its Arm purchase. A spokesperson added;

We will continue to work closely with the British authorities, as we have done since the announcement of this deal.

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