UK government intervenes in Nvidia takeover of Arm, cites 'national security'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 19
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has been ordered to investigate Nvidia's proposed takeover of British company Arm, the company whose technology is used by Apple Silicon.

Arm's new v9 architecture boosts AI, security, and performance
Arm processors are at the heart of iPhones, iPads, and Apple Silicon


Nvidia's record-breaking $40 billion purchase of Arm has already been opposed by the likes of Qualcomm, and has been examined by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Now the UK wants to step up its CMA activity with a "phase one" investigation over national security concerns.

According to London's Evening Standard newspaper, the further action has been ordered by UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

"Following careful consideration of the proposed takeover of Arm," said Dowden, "I have today issued an intervention notice on national security grounds. As a next step and to help me gather the relevant information, the UK's independent competition authority will now prepare a report on the implications of the transaction, which will help inform any further decisions."

"We want to support our thriving UK tech industry and welcome foreign investment," he continued, "but it is appropriate that we properly consider the national security implications of a transaction like this."

The CMA had previously invited concerned parties to submit their views on the sale, and in its impact on local competition. The watchdog body will now more formally examine the details of the deal, and has until July 30 to make recommendations.

Arm is the Cambridge, UK-based technology company originally founded in the 1980s and now powering countless devices worldwide. Apple already uses it for M1 Macs, plus iPhones and iPads, and is expected to continue.




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,300member
    Interesting, NVidia is a US based company so unlikely to be a threat. Although I suppose they could then sell it to whomever they want in the future.
    edited April 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,638member
    5 years too late. The sale to SoftBank shouldn’t have been allowed.
    elijahglongpathscatztechconcionicledk49killroychiaTRAGronn
  • Reply 3 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    National Security is now being used as an excuse to promote Financial Security and profits.
    But, at the same time, a certain nation began weaponizing its products and industries to attack and destroy its international competitors.

    So, fair competition is no longer a thing that can be relied on.
    Every developed country now realizes that.   So, if the UK had not taken this "National Security" stance, others would have (and likely still will).
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 4 of 28
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,076member
    crowley said:
    5 years too late. The sale to SoftBank shouldn’t have been allowed.
    That seemed to take pretty much everyone off-guard. I think if it was publicised a bit more at the time it never would have happened. These massive acquisitions by holding companies rarely turn out well for anyone except a couple of execs.
    longpathcornchipronnjony0maximara
  • Reply 5 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    elijahg said:
    crowley said:
    5 years too late. The sale to SoftBank shouldn’t have been allowed.
    That seemed to take pretty much everyone off-guard. I think if it was publicised a bit more at the time it never would have happened. These massive acquisitions by holding companies rarely turn out well for anyone except a couple of execs.

    Equating the sales to Softbank versus NVIDIA is a False Analogy.
    Softbank is a neutral Japanese holding and investment company.
    NVIDIA is an aggressive U.S. tech company that, if they do not abuse the patents themselves, could be used as a tool to weaponize those patents in the name of "National Defense".
    edited April 19 killroyrob53EsquireCatsnetroxjony0viclauyycmaximara
  • Reply 6 of 28
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,494member
    I was wondering when someone who challenge this acquisition. Looking at ARM's history shows how convoluted corporate acquisitions have become. SoftBank acquired ARM but if the sale goes through SoftBank would get a 10% share of NVIDIA. I don't see why the UK should be worried about this since they already gave it up to a Japanese holding company. How much influence does the UK still have on ARM's operations? NVIDIA has moved into CPU designs so Intel and AMD should be worried but as long as the terms of usage of ARM's intellectual property aren't changed to stop other companies, like Apple, from licensing ARM's IP Apple should be worried. As for using national security as an excuse, we're way past that. I don't see NVIDIA being any different than SoftBank and since Intel, Microsoft, or Apple aren't buying it to suppress it, there shouldn't be any monopoly complaints. The world has been a global economy for decades no matter how some people want to return to the good 'ole days. Deal with it, embrace it, help it succeed to the benefit of all! 

    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,835member
    rob53 said:

    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.

    Waaaaaayyy too optimistic LoL 
    Xedwatto_cobramaximara
  • Reply 8 of 28
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 284member
    saarek said:
    Interesting, NVidia is a US based company so unlikely to be a threat. Although I suppose they could then sell it to whomever they want in the future.
    NVidia is a US based company in China’s hands 
    watto_cobrawilliamlondonsaarek
  • Reply 9 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    rob53 said:
    I was wondering when someone who challenge this acquisition. Looking at ARM's history shows how convoluted corporate acquisitions have become. SoftBank acquired ARM but if the sale goes through SoftBank would get a 10% share of NVIDIA. I don't see why the UK should be worried about this since they already gave it up to a Japanese holding company. How much influence does the UK still have on ARM's operations? NVIDIA has moved into CPU designs so Intel and AMD should be worried but as long as the terms of usage of ARM's intellectual property aren't changed to stop other companies, like Apple, from licensing ARM's IP Apple should be worried. As for using national security as an excuse, we're way past that. I don't see NVIDIA being any different than SoftBank and since Intel, Microsoft, or Apple aren't buying it to suppress it, there shouldn't be any monopoly complaints. The world has been a global economy for decades no matter how some people want to return to the good 'ole days. Deal with it, embrace it, help it succeed to the benefit of all! 

    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.

    Why would the UK be worried?
    Because NVIDIA is an aggressive foreign company who could leverage the company against the UK.
    Also, another Donald Trump could declare letting the UK share American technology would be a National Security risk and cut them off.

    Softbank was an impartial Japanese company who freely distributed ARM licenses without the baggage likely under an American owned NVIDIA.

    Even the founders of ARM expressed concern over those potential issues.

    As for everybody getting along:  The world seems headed in the opposite direction -- civil war in the U.S. and cold war with China.
    edited April 19 EsquireCatsmaximara
  • Reply 10 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    qwerty52 said:
    saarek said:
    Interesting, NVidia is a US based company so unlikely to be a threat. Although I suppose they could then sell it to whomever they want in the future.
    NVidia is a US based company in China’s hands 

    qwerty52 said:
    saarek said:
    Interesting, NVidia is a US based company so unlikely to be a threat. Although I suppose they could then sell it to whomever they want in the future.
    NVidia is a US based company in China’s hands 

    LOL... No, it's an American company in America's hands -- and that's the problem:   We have lost our credibility on the world stage. 
    viclauyycmaximara
  • Reply 11 of 28
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,638member
    qwerty52 said:
    saarek said:
    Interesting, NVidia is a US based company so unlikely to be a threat. Although I suppose they could then sell it to whomever they want in the future.
    NVidia is a US based company in China’s hands 
    Where has this idea than nVidia is owned by China come from?

    Nvidia Stock Ownership - Who Owns Nvidia in 2021? | WallstreetZen

    Seems to be mostly US institutional ownership, and the commentary I've read suggests that China are removing nVidia technology from the state computer estate, and are not in favour of this deal as it will place ARM under the control of a company who has to abide by US economic sanctions.
    killroytmay
  • Reply 12 of 28
    DoctorQDoctorQ Posts: 22member
    cornchip said:
    rob53 said:

    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.

    Waaaaaayyy too optimistic LoL 
    Especially for a Monday 
  • Reply 13 of 28
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,602member
    rob53 said:
    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.
    You mean one ideology to rule them all? Terrifying, though one group has been trying for over a century & a half now. It’s doing well, only China & Iran to go.
    GeorgeBMacwilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,886member
    rob53 said:
    I was wondering when someone who challenge this acquisition. Looking at ARM's history shows how convoluted corporate acquisitions have become. SoftBank acquired ARM but if the sale goes through SoftBank would get a 10% share of NVIDIA. I don't see why the UK should be worried about this since they already gave it up to a Japanese holding company. How much influence does the UK still have on ARM's operations? NVIDIA has moved into CPU designs so Intel and AMD should be worried but as long as the terms of usage of ARM's intellectual property aren't changed to stop other companies, like Apple, from licensing ARM's IP Apple should be worried. As for using national security as an excuse, we're way past that. I don't see NVIDIA being any different than SoftBank and since Intel, Microsoft, or Apple aren't buying it to suppress it, there shouldn't be any monopoly complaints. The world has been a global economy for decades no matter how some people want to return to the good 'ole days. Deal with it, embrace it, help it succeed to the benefit of all! 

    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.
    Peace in our time.
    williamlondonPDRPRTS
  • Reply 15 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,010member
    Rene Ritchie has an excellent video today about how Nvidia’s acquisition of ARM wouldn’t affect Apple at all. There had been speculation about whether Nvidia could damage Apple Silicon by rescinding licenses Apple holds. Turns out Nvidia could nothing of the sort.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,498member
    rob53 said:
    I was wondering when someone who challenge this acquisition. Looking at ARM's history shows how convoluted corporate acquisitions have become. SoftBank acquired ARM but if the sale goes through SoftBank would get a 10% share of NVIDIA. I don't see why the UK should be worried about this since they already gave it up to a Japanese holding company. How much influence does the UK still have on ARM's operations? NVIDIA has moved into CPU designs so Intel and AMD should be worried but as long as the terms of usage of ARM's intellectual property aren't changed to stop other companies, like Apple, from licensing ARM's IP Apple should be worried. As for using national security as an excuse, we're way past that. I don't see NVIDIA being any different than SoftBank and since Intel, Microsoft, or Apple aren't buying it to suppress it, there shouldn't be any monopoly complaints. The world has been a global economy for decades no matter how some people want to return to the good 'ole days. Deal with it, embrace it, help it succeed to the benefit of all! 

    ok, a bit too optimistic for this early in the morning but we can only hope we're moving to a future similar to what Star Trek envisioned where we can all just get along.
    As for everybody getting along:  The world seems headed in the opposite direction -- civil war in the U.S. and cold war with China.
    Not sure how long it will stay cold on the China front either. 
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 28
    qwerty52 said:
    saarek said:
    Interesting, NVidia is a US based company so unlikely to be a threat. Although I suppose they could then sell it to whomever they want in the future.
    NVidia is a US based company in China’s hands 
    You don’t know Nvidia CEO is from Taiwan, ROC, the better China? I guess you think all German are Nazi? 
    watto_cobraseanjwilliamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 28
    Nvidia waited too long to acquire ARM.  There is a glaring spotlight on tech companies getting too big, and this signals the purchase is in jeopardy without concessions from Nvidia probably around keeping R&D in UK etc.  They probably could have gotten away with this 3-4 years ago, but especially now with the M1 breaking ground the UK is giving pause to what they are actually giving up here.
    edited April 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 28
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,689member
    dee_dee said:
    Nvidia waited too long to acquire ARM.  There is a glaring spotlight on tech companies getting too big, and this signals the purchase is in jeopardy without concessions from Nvidia probably around keeping R&D in UK etc.  They probably could have gotten away with this 3-4 years ago, but especially now with the M1 breaking ground the UK is giving pause to what they are actually giving up here.
    Definitely. The co-founder of ARM, Hermann Hauser, wrote to the UK government back in October last year highlighting his not unreasonable concerns. De facto new US tech monopoly, possibility of abuse (direct or in direct), possible transfer of physical assets to US soil etc. 

    On top of that we now have first hand experience of US government industrial abuse of third parties in sovereign nations who have been severely impacted by Trump's executive order frenzy. The UK itself and its companies has lost billions after being pressured by the US over Huawei/5G.

    It seems that the government has finally woken up to what might happen here.

    I wasn't aware that it apparently has power to nix the deal, though, which is what I'm guessing is the case from the first steps it has taken.

    The EU will also have reason to be concerned about the deal too.

    I would be surprised if it gets the go ahead.

    The problem is that I can't see a viable solution to the overall situation.

    seanjmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 28
    seanjseanj Posts: 209member
    avon b7 said:
    dee_dee said:
    Nvidia waited too long to acquire ARM.  There is a glaring spotlight on tech companies getting too big, and this signals the purchase is in jeopardy without concessions from Nvidia probably around keeping R&D in UK etc.  They probably could have gotten away with this 3-4 years ago, but especially now with the M1 breaking ground the UK is giving pause to what they are actually giving up here.
    Definitely. The co-founder of ARM, Hermann Hauser, wrote to the UK government back in October last year highlighting his not unreasonable concerns. De facto new US tech monopoly, possibility of abuse (direct or in direct), possible transfer of physical assets to US soil etc. 

    On top of that we now have first hand experience of US government industrial abuse of third parties in sovereign nations who have been severely impacted by Trump's executive order frenzy. The UK itself and its companies has lost billions after being pressured by the US over Huawei/5G.

    It seems that the government has finally woken up to what might happen here.

    I wasn't aware that it apparently has power to nix the deal, though, which is what I'm guessing is the case from the first steps it has taken.

    The EU will also have reason to be concerned about the deal too.

    I would be surprised if it gets the go ahead.

    The problem is that I can't see a viable solution to the overall situation.

    The U.K. can stop the deal and market regulators in other countries around the world,  could certainly lodge objections to it. With the U.K. government’s new focus on future technologies, I can see them buying a stake in Arm as part of a joint purchase. Something similar to the OneWeb deal but partnering with a British company.
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