back to article EU to formally probe Nvidia's $54bn takeover over British chip designer Arm – report

Nvidia told The Reg it would work "with the European Commission to address any concerns they may have" after reports it is set open a formal competition law investigation into the AI firm's purchase of Arm from Softbank. The Financial Times reported this morning that the political bloc will examine whether or not the $54bn …

  1. Lon24

    Majority Voting?

    Should China and the EU decide against the merger. But the UK decides for it. Who rules?

    Answers on the back of a Union Jack please.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Majority Voting?


      And besides, how is it that the UK now has 'significant concerns' ? Didn't the acquisition receive the UK's blessing ?

      It's a bit late to complain now.

      1. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: Majority Voting?

        Different acquisition, the previous one did not raise competition concerns this one does.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Majority Voting?

        Previous buyout was an investment bank. No real competition concerns.

        This buy out is a CPU/GPU manufacture. Real and actual competition concerns.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Majority Voting?

      Only real answer is the referendum.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My Enemy's Enemy

      With China being increasing belligerent in all areas, then the EU will huff and puff but will side with the US on this.

      The Chinese will be kicking themselves for not buying ARM when they had the chance, as it has been very poorly managed by SoftBank - a bit like when HP was still an engineering company, and got taken over by marketers and beancounters and has destroyed its brand by not understanding where its value came from and nurturing that.

      NVIDIA is a much better cultural and organisational fit for ARM than SoftBank and will add value in a way that the SoftBank arrangement never could.

      While the generic RISC-V can do vanilla IoT the key driver is low power designs and high value IoT markets e.g. medicine, military, aerospace and automotive - and that require vertical integration, rapid R&D capability and subject matter expertise which ARM has - that is where the competitive advantage is.

  2. Snowy Silver badge

    All them offices worldwide

    I wonder who will object next.

  3. itzman


    It simply is none of the EU or Chinas business.

    They have no legal say in it.

    1. Lon24

      Re: Whatt???

      They do within their jurisdictions - which are rather bigger chunks of ARM's business than the UK's.

      But you knew that you naughty boy ;-)

      1. Gunboat Diplomat

        Re: Whatt???

        Some fabs are in china's sphere of influence admittedly, but please do explain precisely how this falls under eu jurisdiction beyond just both companies sell product there.

    2. Len

      Re: Whatt???

      If your market is big enough for the merging companies you do have a say in it.

      China and the EU are two of the three biggest markets in the world. Unless Nvidia is happy to buy ARM but keep it separate in the EU or China (or never sell any products in the EU or China ever again) Nvidia will have to take their opinion into account.

      Let me remind you of the case where the EU blocked the purchase of American company Honeywell by American company General Electric because it would have an adverse effect on competition. GE could not afford to lose the EU market so the purchase could not go ahead, despite the US antitrust regulator already having approved the deal.

      1. Lars Silver badge

        Re: Whatt???

        It's indeed called the Brussels effect:

        "The Brussels effect is the process of unilateral regulatory globalisation caused by the European Union de facto (but not necessarily de jure) externalising its laws outside its borders through market mechanisms. Through the Brussels effect, regulated entities, especially corporations, end up complying with EU laws even outside the EU for a variety of reasons. "

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Whatt???

          Is there also a "Washington Effect"?

        2. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: Whatt???

          It's no different in places like the USA, where one state passes legislation on for example... California, car emissions and it's too costly for the manufacturers to only apply them in those states with those specific laws.

          So it gets applied universally across the country and the knock on effect of those countries they export too

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Whatt???

      We could block the merge and then forbid China from using Arm technology. Their cheap Arm based electronic garbage economy would collapse overnight.

      1. GraXXoR

        Re: Whatt???

        I suspect China would “discover” some silicon that turns out to be *extremely* similar to current ARM designs down the back of their sofa.

        1. stronnag

          Re: Whatt???

          Seems like that's already happened, allegedly.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Whatt???

        As we are seeing, and have been seeing for decades now, when you ban tech going into China, they put their significant financial and education muscle into developing their own tech (and stealing/pirating/strongarming it of course, that goes without saying)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure why they're even considering it. This should be stamped down hard. Nvidia is the last company I'd trust not to abuse of a monopoly.

    1. JerseyDaveC

      Who would be the first dozen or so you would trust? :-)

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        I would happily take over Arm, if a bank loaned me enough money.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          would that be a soft loan from a bank?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Tromos

          It'd also cost you a leg.

  5. Nick London


    Since the UK withdrew from the EU do they have any locus?.

  6. Chronos

    Just wrong on so many levels

    The ambivalence is killing me.

    Firstly, this is a private company. The free market model means they should be free to trade. If that's the entire company, so be it. Beak out.

    Secondly, the EU messing around with an Anglo-British deal despite not having jurisdiction over either party. Again, snout away.

    Then we come to my overriding pain: As someone who grew up at a time when computer == Acorn, exporting the success that is ARM (it is - or was - an acronym, people, [Acorn|Advanced] RISC Machines) and the resulting diminution of tech boom in Cambridge is something of a disaster. Why do we keep selling off our success? I am within touching distance of one x86_64, a Cortex M0, two arm64 devices, two arm7s and a MIPS. That's a 5:2 ratio of ARM to other architectures, completely ignoring SMP capabilities of each and that's just my workspace.

    My answer? Sod it. Que sera, sera. It's out of my control so I'll not worry about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just wrong on so many levels

      They are free to trade, but blocks and countries like the EU and China are free to block them in their juristrictions.

  7. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

    If They Don't Block This, They Should Retire

    In any sane universe this merger damages competition and choice.

    If any competition authority anywhere in the world approves it, the individuals should directly leave the building, turn out the lights as they go, throw away the key and sign on the dole.

    Recent years have seen precious few mergers banned outright and for me at least, it feels as though the competition authorities pay nothing but lip service to investigating anything. There is literally utterly no point in paying for a competition authority that never bans a merger.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When did a $40 billion deal become a $54 billion deal?

    Did I miss something, up until a week ago the figure was $40 bln, now it's $54 bln?

    Looks like someone at reuters slipped up.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like