UK Probes Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition On National Security Grounds

The British government has ordered an investigation of Nvidia’s proposed US$40 billion acquisition of UK-headquartered chip designer Arm. The country’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will prepare an initial report on the takeover by the end of July, which will cover potential national security issues, as well as competition and jurisdictional issues created by the deal.

“I have today issued an intervention notice on national security grounds,” the UK’s digital secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement. “The UK’s independent competition authority will now prepare a report on the implications of the transaction, which will help inform any further decisions.”

An Nvidia spokesperson told CNBC, “We do not believe this transaction poses any material national security issues. We will continue to work closely with the British authorities, as we have done since the announcement of this deal.”

Earlier this year, the CMA invited third parties to comment on the merger ahead of a formal antitrust investigation. That investigation will probe the deal’s possible effects on competition in the UK.

In February, US federal regulators opened an investigation into the purchase while soliciting information from third parties. 

A consortium made up of Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm among others, reportedly asked antitrust officials to intervene in the sale, Bloomberg reported. At least one of the companies wants the deal “killed.”