China To Scrutinize Arm/Nvidia $40B Deal

Simon Segars, chief executive of the UK chipmaker Arm Holdings, has said that he expects tough and protracted scrutiny from China over Nvidia’s $40bn takeover of the company, reported the Financial Times.

China’s chipmakers have urged Beijing to probe Nvidia’s proposed acquisition of Arm on the basis that it would hand the US company control over essential technology used in many of the world’s smartphones and data centres. That has led to concerns that regulators in China may not sign off the acquisition.

Speaking to the Financial Times on Tuesday, Mr Segars argued that the Chinese regulators would want to review the combination of Arm and Nvidia thoroughly, though he remained confident the deal would ultimately proceed. “It’s a tough place at the moment with geopolitics so we’ll have to play that very carefully,” he said, adding that regulatory clearance across all of its markets will “take a long time”.

The sale of Arm, which was bought by SoftBank in 2016, has led to a backlash in Britain over fears that the US technology giant could move the chipmaker, which is widely seen as the crown jewel of the UK’s technology industry, out of its headquarters in Cambridge.

The government could still ask the Competition and Markets Authority to review the transaction on “national security” grounds. Nvidia has made commitments to keep Arm in Cambridge and will spend £40m on a new supercomputer for Cambridge to ease concerns over the takeover.

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