EU plans to investigate intended ARM acquisition by Nvidia

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Nvidia’s bid to buy British chip designer ARM will face more scrutiny from EU antitrust watchdogs after concessions offered last week failed to address concerns raised by the competition, according to three people close to the matter.

An EU investigation would be a second blow to Nvidia, as it comes two months after Britain’s antitrust agency warned that a deal to purchase the country’s most important tech company would damage competition, and rivals would take a hit.

The European Commission is scheduled to end the preliminary review on October 27th, followed by a four-month investigation into the deal.

No comment

A spokesperson for the Commission declined to offer comment. Nvidia, which is headquartered in the US, said that the regulatory process is confidential, adding that the transaction will help to transform ARM and boost innovation and competition, including in the UK.

However, you would expect Nvidia to say that. Otherwise, Nvidia would not make a very good soulless corporation looking to put this particular market in a chokehold.

Nvidia is the world’s biggest maker of graphics and AI chips and according to the sources, it offered the Commission behavioral remedies to help with the process.

The remedies may have fallen short

The remedies offered to refer to pledges by companies to preserve competition. Nvidia said it would maintain ARM as a neutral technology supplier in a bid to calm fears among concerned customers like Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, and others.

The EU competition enforcer has not talked to rivals and customers about the concessions promises, indicating that they must not be sufficient. Backers of the deal include Broadcom, MediaTek, and Marvell, who are also ARM customers.