SoftBank has been looking for candidates for its semiconductor designer Arm. Although the company ultimately chose NVIDIA, the deal will still be concluded in at least one country. According to reports, the British government is preparing to intervene and block the acquisition if necessary, on the grounds that NVIDIA’s acquisition of Arm may not only endanger the work of its citizens but also threaten the sovereignty of one of the few technological champions in the United Kingdom.
Cambridge-based Arm (formerly ARM Holdings) was an independent company until it was acquired by Japan’s SoftBank Group in 2016. ARM is the owner and designer of the world’s most widely used mobile and embedded computing processor technology and has been able to retain its original version. The business model and operations owned by SoftBank. However, some people worry that NVIDIA may be at a loss.
The UK is particularly concerned about the impact of this acquisition on the UK economy and sovereignty. As a company headquartered in the United Kingdom, Arm is naturally one of the country’s precious properties. It will not simply allow it to be handed over to others without careful scrutiny.
NVIDIA certainly promised to maintain the status quo with regard to Arm’s business model. It is even committed to turning the UK into a global AI research and excellence center, which will help strengthen the country’s economy and reputation. However, some British officials did not buy it at face value.
NVIDIA’s acquisition of Arm may face similar scrutiny from other regulatory agencies in the United States and the European Union, as this will give NVIDIA a competitive advantage over its competitors. The potential to use this advantage to harm competitors’ Arm customers is too great to be ignored. The value of the transaction is US$40 billion or £30 billion.