NVIDIA's Arm Acquisition Hits Potential Snag As EU Launches An Extended Investigation
Last week, we told you about NVIDIA offering the EU antitrust commission concessions to try and hurry along its acquisition of Arm. If you missed that story, here's the quick and dirty to get you up to speed: NVIDIA wants to buy Arm, and regulators around the world are scrutinizing the deal, due to its possible wide-sweeping effects in the semiconductor industry.
It's not clear what NVIDIA offered to the EU's antitrust review board last week, but had the terms been accepted, the EU would have then gone around to NVIDIA and Arm's rivals and customers to seek feedback on the proceedings. According to "three people familiar with the matter," speaking to Reuters, that hasn't happened, which could mean that the concessions offered by NVIDIA were insufficient for the review board.
The EU commission is scheduled to end preliminary reviews on October 27th. According to Reuters, a four-month investigation will follow. If true, that makes it rather unlikely that NVIDIA will be able to meet its original target of March 2022 for the closure of the acquisition.
Of course, the proceedings are entirely confidential, which means that outsiders (like us) have to engage in this kind of hearsay and guess-work to keep track of them. Still, it's not hard to guess that the typically-protectionist EU would frown on such a purchase. Arm-based processors are employed in basically everything besides PC laptops and gaming desktops at this point, and while NVIDIA has eagerly assured licensees that it will maintain Arm's open and neutral status if the purchase goes through, its stewardship could still have serious implications that would reverberate through the industry.