It has been around five months since NVIDIA announced its intentions to acquire Arm Holdings
from SoftBank for $40 billion, including $12 billion in cash. For the deal to be finalized, however, NVIDIA will need to pass regulatory scrutiny in several territories, and some of the industry's biggest tech giants are urging antitrust officials to nix the deal as constructed.
NVIDIA designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for a variety of market segments, gaming and professional graphics cards. It also develops system-on-chip (SoC) solutions, and in more recent years, has focused heavily on artificial intelligence
(AI) and machine learning
technologies, with various solutions for high performance computing (HPC), automotive, and other industry segments.
Having Arm change hands to Nvidia could potentially shake the industry up
in a major way. That is because Arm's designs are widely utilized in all different kinds of electronics, from smartphones and tablets, to wireless routers and everything in between. There is a good change that at least one electronic device (if not more) in your home is powered by an Arm design.
Several companies license Arm's intellectual property (IP), and that is where the concern lies among certain tech giants. Citing people who are familiar with the process, Bloomberg
reports Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm have all asked antitrust officials to intervene in some way. And at least one of those firms wants the deal to be killed outright
, the report states.
From NVIDIA's vantage point, there is nothing to worry about. The high price it has agreed to pay for Arm is one reason it believes other companies should not fear it will hog Arm's IP all for itself, and will remain neutral. And outwardly, NVIDIA is confident it will pass regulatory reviews with flying colors.
"As we proceed through the review process, we’re confident that both regulators and customers will see the benefits of our plan to continue Arm’s open licensing model and ensure a transparent, collaborative relationship with Arm’s licensees. Our vision for Arm will help all Arm licensees grow their businesses and expand into new markets," NVIDIA said in a statement.
The statement echoes what NVIDIA has said all along, that it essentially does not intend to mess with a good thing. However, it will be up to regulators to decide if the deal is ultimately consummated.