As the Federal Trade Commission in the US starts its investigation, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm have all said the deal will hamper their access to a vital technology and at least one of the three has called for the deal to be blocked, according to reports. Graphics and AI chip and board vendor Nvidia agreed a $40 billion deal to buy ARM from SoftBank Group back in September 2020 saying the deal could take up to 18 months to clear anti-trust hurdles. The deal is also becoming part of the US and European assessments of critical chip technologies.
The agreement is being scrutinized by competition authorities around the world, including the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority and China's State Market Regulatory Administration.
Qualcomm and many other companies rely on ARM licenses to build their chips and are fearful that if ARM were owned by Nvidia, equality of access opportunity would be come under pressure in markets where Nvidia would set up in competition.
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, has promised to preserve the ARM business model and to keep the company headquartered in England, in attempts to alleviate concerns, and offered a supercomputer at the Cambridge headquarters.