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FTC says 'nope' to NVIDIA buying Arm

The Federal Trade Commission is suing NVIDIA to block its $40 billion purchase of Arm.

Published onDecember 2, 2021

NVIDIA and Arm company logos
  • The Federal Trade Commission in the United States is suing to block the NVIDIA Arm deal.
  • The $40 billion deal has faced major pushback due to the potential for stifling of competition.
  • Other government organizations around the world are also trying to stop NVIDIA’s purchase.

Arm technologies are in lots of stuff nowadays. Your Android phone is an Arm-based computer, and the much-lauded Apple M1 chip is also based on Arm. This growing portfolio is one of the main reasons why eyebrows were raised when NVIDIA announced its intentions to buy the company.

That deal — estimated at $40 billion — has faced major pushback from the likes of the European Commission and the United Kingdom Competitions and Market Authority. Now, it faces another major hurdle in the US Federal Trade Commission. Today, the FTC announced it is suing to stop the NVIDIA Arm deal.

See also: Arm vs x86 explained

“The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies,” the statement says. The organization says it is very concerned the deal could create an anti-competitive environment across the chipset industry, which is already under heavy duress.

The main concern of the FTC is that NVIDIA owning Arm would allow the former company to gain access to deals and agreements the latter company has with others. This would essentially allow NVIDIA to know its competitors’ strategies and weaknesses ahead of time and tailor its products accordingly. Additionally, it could then control access to Arm’s products if it felt competitors were gaining too much ground.

Google, Microsoft, and even fellow chipset manufacturer Qualcomm have all expressed concerns over the deal as well.

NVIDIA says its Arm acquisition should finish by the end of 2022. However, today’s news makes that seem very unlikely.

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