EU Commission may extend antitrust probe into Nvidia's $54bn merger with Arm

Investigation to continue into early 2022


Nvidia’s $54 billion bid to takeover British chip designer Arm is reportedly facing more hurdles than expected as the EU Commission extends its antitrust investigation of the deal.

Both companies had expected authorities to scrutinize the merger after Nvidia officially submitted its plans to acquire Arm to the EU, last month. The review process was expected to end on 27 October but has now been extended for another four months, according to Reuters.

In an attempt to persuade regulators to approve its acquisition, Nvidia apparently offered to make concessions although it’s not clear what the company proposed exactly. None of those bargains, however, tackle anti-competition issues, so the EU Commission has apparently decided to prolong its antitrust probe.

“The regulatory process is confidential,” a spokesperson from Nvidia told The Register. “The transaction will help to transform Arm and boost competition and innovation.” The British chip biz declined to comment, as did the EU Commission.

This is not the only obstacle standing in Nvidia’s way. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its own review and said the merger raised “significant competition concerns" in a report published in August. Officials were mainly concerned that Nvidia could force Arm customers to switch over to its own data center chips, crushing its competitors that also sell Arm-based hardware.

“Arm controls an important input and has market power in the supply of CPU IP for Datacentre CPUs and SmartNICs,” the report said.

"As the longstanding leading supplier with over 90 per cent share of supply, Nvidia also has market power in the supply of Datacentre GPUs. The evidence indicates the Merged Entity could modify the interoperability between Datacentre GPUs and Arm-based Datacentre CPUs and/or SmartNICs, to enhance NVIDIA's products and undermine the operability of rivals' products, so as to de facto 'bundle' the supply of these products."

The CMA is continuing its investigation of the proposed merger, whilst Arm has frozen all hiring of new employees until the deal is closed. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Chip shortage forces temporary Raspberry Pi 4 price rise for the first time

    Ten-buck increase for 2GB model 'not here to stay' says Upton

    The price of a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer is going up $10, and its supply is expected to be capped at seven million devices this year due to the ongoing global chip shortage.

    Demand for components is outstripping manufacturing capacity at the moment; pre-pandemic, assembly lines were being red-lined as cloud giants and others snapped up parts fresh out of the fabs, and the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak really threw a spanner in the works, so to speak, exacerbating the situation.

    Everything from cars to smartphones have felt the effects of supply constraints, and Raspberry Pis, too, it appears. Stock is especially tight for the Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 models, we're told. As the semiconductor crunch shows no signs of letting up, the Raspberry Pi project is going to bump up the price for one particular model.

    Continue reading
  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021