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UPDATE 1-Setback for Nvidia's $54 bln ARM bid as EU regulators open probe

Wed, 27th Oct 2021 16:26

(Adds detail, background)

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Nvidia suffered a
setback on Wednesday as EU antitrust regulators opened a
full-scale investigation into its $54 billion bid for British
chip designer ARM on concerns the deal could lead to higher
prices, less choice and reduced innovation.

Britain's competition agency is also probing the deal for
the country's most important technology company, warning that it
could damage competition and weaken rivals.

Reuters reported the European Commission viewed as
insufficient concessions offered by the world's biggest maker of
graphics and artificial intelligence (AI) chips during its
preliminary review..

Nvidia has not disclosed what these are but it has
previously said it would maintain ARM as a neutral technology
supplier to sooth concerns from customers such as Qualcomm Inc
, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc
.

The Commission said it would decide by March 15 whether to
clear or block the deal.

"Whilst Arm and Nvidia do not directly compete, Arm's IP is
an important input in products competing with those of Nvidia,
for example in datacentres, automotive and in Internet of
Things," EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a
statement.

"Our analysis shows that the acquisition of Arm by Nvidia
could lead to restricted or degraded access to Arm's IP, with
distortive effects in many markets where semiconductors are
used," she continued.

ARM customers Broadcom, MediaTek and
Marvell are backers of the deal.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and
Mark Potter)

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