Monday, April 19th 2021

UK Stalls NVIDIA's Acquisition of Arm to Investigate "National Security Concerns"

The UK government has stalled NVIDIA's $40 billion acquisition of Arm by constituting an investigation in "public interest." This investigation will look into the national security implications to the UK, of the acquisition. Although Arm is being transacted between Japan's SoftBank Holdings and American NVIDIA, Arm itself is a UK-based entity. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will lead the investigation, and file a report with the UK government by June 30, 2021.

NVIDIA responded to the development, stating that the acquisition has no material national-security issues affecting the UK. "We will continue to work closely with the British authorities, as we have done since the announcement of this deal," NVIDIA stated. Leading tech firms, namely Google, Qualcomm, and Microsoft, etc., voiced apprehensions over the deal. Unlike SoftBank, NVIDIA is a chip-designer in its own right, and could withhold cutting-edge Arm technology to itself, giving its CPUs/SoCs a competitive edge over other Arm licensees, these firms believe.
Source: Reuters
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19 Comments on UK Stalls NVIDIA's Acquisition of Arm to Investigate "National Security Concerns"

#1
watzupken
Glad UK regulator finally woke up after so long. The reason for Nvidia to acquire ARM is highly questionable since there is nothing stopping Nvidia from using ARM technology as a licence holder. The motive of the acquisition is more to acquire the patents/expertise and talents, and leave the rest of ARM to rot away. Then they can blame it that the business failed, but actually they got what they came for. I think we have seen quite a lot of US tech companies doing that in their acquisition. Eventually they will shut the company they acquired down which I suppose will end whatever obligations they need to fulfil to complete the acquisition.
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#2
dont whant to set it"'
Not at all surprising given nVidia's not perfect past, ok, childish naivete from my part this one.
I do not agree , not at all Sir'i to agree that "God" knows what "telemetry" it wants because it ain't like that the sealed box the graphics card came in also contained al blank check or something.
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#3
Prima.Vera
There shouldn't be a monopoly like the curent x86 is. EU, US, should also take a stance, not only UK...
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#4
Dr_b_
How this wouldn't be a monopoly or dangerous to the development of vital IP and why regulators haven't already killed it
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#5
R0H1T
watzupkenGlad UK regulator finally woke up after so long. The reason for Nvidia to acquire ARM is highly questionable since there is nothing stopping Nvidia from using ARM technology as a licence holder. The motive of the acquisition is more to acquire the patents/expertise and talents, and leave the rest of ARM to rot away. Then they can blame it that the business failed, but actually they got what they came for. I think we have seen quite a lot of US tech companies doing that in their acquisition. Eventually they will shut the company they acquired down which I suppose will end whatever obligations they need to fulfil to complete the acquisition.
Yeah I don't agree with that but Nvidia can & would likely force a lot of proprietary Nvidia only sh!t on the ARM licensees ~ which is arguably much worse!
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#6
thesmokingman
Yea... you just know Nvidia is gonna fubar up the whole ecosystem and everyone involved is gonna be captive to it.
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#7
AsRock
TPU addict
NVIDIA responded to the development, stating that the acquisition has no material national-security issues affecting the UK.
So it does ?, just not the UK ?.
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#8
R0H1T
Even if were to pass in the UK, which looks unlikely now, there's EU & of course China who'd most likely block this anyway!
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#9
Vya Domus
I wonder just how much Nvidia's stock would crash if the acquisition would be rejected.
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#10
Zubasa
Vya DomusI wonder just how much Nvidia's stock would crash if the acquisition would be rejected.
Right now, not a whole lot. Given nVidia bascially has a licence to print money at the moment.
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#11
TheinsanegamerN
This is great news. Nvidia has 0 reason to buy aRM unless they wanted to lock people behind more licensing to print more money.

OTOH Nvidia buying and screwing ARM was going to lead to RISC-V finally gaining traction. I'd still like to see that.
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#12
AusWolf
Good. It's time for nvidia to realize that they don't own the world, and I'm glad it's not only consumers who see it that way. An nvidia-ARM monopoly would be very bad for business.
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#13
Hargema
Somebody smite this company.
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#14
renz496
TheinsanegamerNThis is great news. Nvidia has 0 reason to buy aRM unless they wanted to lock people behind more licensing to print more money.

OTOH Nvidia buying and screwing ARM was going to lead to RISC-V finally gaining traction. I'd still like to see that.
ARM does not generate that much money from licensing (unlike Qualcomm wireless and communication licensing). nvidia aim is to expand their ecosystem. they might let the licensing fee and strategy as it is but once nvidia fully develop their ecosystem no other ARM player will be able to beat nvidia solution. and nvidia also using RISC-V in some of their designs.
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#15
TheinsanegamerN
renz496ARM does not generate that much money from licensing (unlike Qualcomm wireless and communication licensing). nvidia aim is to expand their ecosystem. they might let the licensing fee and strategy as it is but once nvidia fully develop their ecosystem no other ARM player will be able to beat nvidia solution. and nvidia also using RISC-V in some of their designs.
There is nothing stopping them from doing that with just an ARM license. See also: Apple.
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#16
Smartcom5
watzupkenThe motive of the acquisition is more to acquire the patents/expertise and talents, and leave the rest of ARM to rot away.
Sure, they may also want to acquire knowledge. Though I think that isn't the primary goal they're trying to hit with it by buying ARM. It seems like they want to have ARM for the very power of having the leverage on the upcoming industry's tip of the scale (since ARM will undoubtedly play a very significant role in any future).

If nVidia would've wanted to buy ARM for the mere competency, they would've strived for some acquisition of it already years ago. Since their struggling on core-competency aside from anything graphics has lacked quite a bit the recent years (Tegra et al.).
R0H1TYeah I don't agree with that but Nvidia can & would likely force a lot of proprietary Nvidia only sh!t on the ARM licensees ~ which is arguably much worse!
Precisely, and that's like exactly why there's so much opposition.

Granted, their end-goal may be not wanting to kill ARM eventually. However, their way of very likely milking the living penny off ARM's licensing-model and to squeeze out effectively robbing ARM's licencees with sky-high and absurd pricy license-fees – That is what actually not only will harming ARM's licensing-model severe but will inevitably kill ARM as a whole.

Them undoubtedly going to make severe anti-competitive changes to either ARM's business-model (license-fee percentage, locking out crucial bits for licensees/competitors) and/or going to stop licensing elementary ARM-designs out to their competitors and using it nVidia-exclusive further down the line after the deal have closed for them, is, what stirring up such massive renitency and fierce industrial opposition even by rather neutral bystanders – not to mention any competitors.

… and very few have any greater doubt that nVidia really would want to pull that leverage on increasing license-fees for higher profits, they likely wouldn't want to resist that urge. Since nVidia is just that what they always were: Greedy.

Them only wanting to buy ARM *now*, for making ARM their nice and steady Dollar-printing machine sure enough just the moment it becomes crucial enough to be system-relevant (especially within the datacentre- industrial- & server-space; ARM will rise in the server-space inescapably while x86 will decline!), is something you can only be worried about.

… and all that is, what everyone involved know (from anti-trust, cartel-authorities to competitors all around the world) is going to happen, if nVidia gets their hands on ARM. Hence the opposition.

If nVidia would've wanted to buy ARM say 5–10 years earlier, the opposition would've been way lower … ∎
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#17
mtcn77
Notice this only occurred since SoftBank slouched on stupid projects and had to lay off the golden goose.
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#18
voltage
Corruption at the highest order. LIES suggesting this, yet, it's OK for AMD to push through the accusation of XLINX. If you research you will see why they allowed that to happen so quickly. CORRUPT!ION!!
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#19
Smartcom5
@voltage Do you happen to have any source of proof to back up your claims that there was indeed any kind of corruption involved by the acquisition of AMD through Xilinx? Or are those just words of a bitter f@nb0y being upset that his infamous brand of life doesn't get what he wants?

Xilinx doesn't happen to be the industry's tip of the scale when in comes to a whole industry architectural basis, right?
AMD acquiring Xilinx is pretty much exactly the same as back then when Intel bought up Altera, both complement each other.
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