It has been more than a year since NVIDIA’s controversial acquisition of ARM took place, one of the largest movements in the technology sector in recent years, with which the company greatly strengthened its position. Already at the time we saw numerous attempts to try to hinder or even prevent this purchase, predominating the allegations of an anticompetitive movement or of a dominant position in the market.
However, despite the great efforts of the United Kingdom, which even saw part of its gross domestic product in danger, the purchase seemed to be progressing with apparent normality, or so it seemed. And it is that according to they share from Reuters, now the European Commission has opened a formal competition investigation on the acquisition by NVIDIA, with new allegations pointing to the possibility that this agreement would make it difficult for other manufacturers to access ARM technology, hurting much of the semiconductor industry, which already faces major problems of supply.
On the other hand, another of the great concerns is in ARM’s neutralityas this company licenses its chip designs to a wide range of companies, including Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm, many of which are considered direct competitors to NVIDIA. And it is that as we have seen in other cases such as the recent acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft, there is a fear that NVIDIA could end up exercising control in the distribution, putting your competitors at a disadvantage.
Also in relation to this, the European Union plans to investigate how the agreement could affect the way competitors share information with ARM, and whether NVIDIA could shift ARM’s research and development funding to make its products more profitable, to the detriment of those using other ARM technology.
For his part, Jensen Huang, CEO of NVIDIA, has ensured that none of these scenarios will happen, and has committed to maintaining the open license model of ARM. And it is that both NVIDIA and ARM have been facing and waiting for the new arrival of this type of regulatory investigation, anticipating that the completion of the agreement it could take up to 18 months to complete.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority recommended its own in-depth investigation in August, after asking third parties to comment on the merger and launching its own investigation into the possible implications for the national security of their country. Additionally, according to other international newspapers, regulators from the United States and China could also end up joining in formally analyzing the agreement to try to delay it.