Graphcore Asks UK Watchdog To Block Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition

Microsoft-backed Graphcore has objected to Nvidia’s US$40 billion acquisition of Arm Holdings, according to a key member of the British chipmaker’s early development.

Hermann Hauser, who helped to create Arm in 1990, told CNBC that Graphcore has opposed the deal in a “major submission” to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

“If Nvidia can merge the Arm and Nvidia designs in the same software then that locks out companies like Graphcore from entering the seller market and entering a close relationship with Arm,” said Hauser, who is an investor in Graphcore through his venture capital firm Amadeus Capital.

A spokesperson for Nvidia, which is planning to buy Arm from Japanese tech giant SoftBank, described the deal as “pro-competitive” on Wednesday, February 3. Arm did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Graphcore isn’t the only tech firm that has objected to the transaction. Local chipmakers in China including Huawei have urged Beijing to try to block the deal over fears that they could be at a disadvantage if Arm ends up in the hands of a US company.

The deal is now being investigated by regulators around the world. The EU and the UK are set to open “in-depth competition investigations” into the deal.

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