In 2020 Nvidia announced that it would take over the British chip designer ARM. The 40 billion dollar deal is still not through because there are various antitrust concerns. Now there are also questions of national security.
It is not the first time that competition watchdogs have taken a closer look at the deal; the last time the Chinese government slowed the takeover in the summer. However, economic and political backgrounds played a role here; China wants to give companies from its own country the greatest possible advantage.
National Security Concerns At Top Before Competition
The UK government, however, has other concerns, national security concerns. Because ARM Limited is a company based in Cherry Hinton, a suburb of Cambridge. And UK leaders are concerned that it could leak sensitive technological secrets.
Nadine Dorries, the minister responsible for digital, has therefore ordered a “phase 2” investigation by the British competition authority Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). As the news agency Reuters writes, citing a report in the Sunday Times newspaper, the CMA issued warnings last August. These were, however, “only” of an antitrust law nature: the market guardians came to the conclusion that a merger of the two companies could restrict global competition associated with chip technology.
Outcome Is Uncertain
An in-depth investigation by the British authorities would delay the approval of the deal even further, as the whole thing would take around six months. The outcome is uncertain: the British government could approve the takeover, issue conditions, but also prohibit it completely.
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