NVIDIA CEO Huang Certain Arm Acquisition Will Close By 2022 Despite Any Opposition
Do you think NVIDIA is a little nervous that its planned acquisition of Arm will fall apart due to regulatory scrutiny? If so, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang is displaying one heck of a poker face. During a recent question-and-answer session with the press following NVIDIA's GTC 2021 keynote, Huang addressed the topic, and expressed confidence that "regulators will see the wisdom of the transaction."
The transaction, as Huang calls it, is a pretty big deal in the making. Not just monetarily—it's a massive $40 billion acquisition—but in the possible ripple effects it could have in the technology industry at large. That's because Arm's intellectual property (IP) is found in a wealth of everyday electronic devices, from smartphones and tablets, to routers and scores of internet of things (IoT) gadgets.
This has led to some uneasiness by some within the tech sector, as well as a bit of antitrust resistance. Individual companies that are competitors to NVIDIA, such as Qualcomm, have objected to the buyout bid. It's not just Qualcomm, either.
Other tech titans are concerned as well, including Google and Microsoft, both of which have asked antitrust officials to intervene in some way. NVIDIA is not fazed, however, at least not outwardly.
"The regulators will see the wisdom of it, and our discussions with them are as expected and constructive. I’m confident that we’ll still get the deal done in 2022, which is when we expected it in the first place, about 18 months," Huang said.
Huang also doubled down on the positive aspects of a buyout, saying the acquisition will lead to a "surge of innovation," as well as "create new options for the marketplace." During the GTC 2021 Q&A session, which Venture Beat transcribed, Huang also said the acquisition would "allow Arm to be expanded into markets that otherwise are difficult for them to reach themselves," such as various artificial intelligence sectors.
"The combination will enhance both of our businesses. On the one hand, it expands Arm into new computing platforms that otherwise would be difficult. On the other hand, it expands NVIDIA’s AI platform into the Arm ecosystem, which is underexposed to NVIDIA’s AI and accelerated computing platform," Huang added.
Huang's confidence and most recent comments are not likely to sway the outspoken tech firms that have come out in opposition of the deal. NVIDIA need only convince antitrust regulators, though, in order for the deal to go through. While that might be an uphill battle, Huang believes it will get done by next year.