Some of the world’s largest technology companies are complaining to US antitrust regulators about Nvidia Corp’s acquisition of Arm because the deal will harm competition in an area of the industry that is vital to their businesses.
Alphabet Inc’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. are among companies worried about the $40 billion deal and are urging antitrust officials to intervene, said people familiar with the process who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorised to speak publicly. At least one of the companies wants the deal killed. Nvidia shares fell as much as 3.1 per cent in New York trading on Friday. The acquisition would give Nvidia control over a critical supplier that licenses essential chip technology to the likes of Apple, Intel, Samsung Electronics, Amazon.com and China’s Huawei.
UK-based Arm is known as the Switzerland of the industry because it licenses chip designs and related software code to all comers, rather than competing against semiconductor companies. The concern is that if Nvidia owns Arm, it could limit rivals’ access to the technology or raise the cost of access.
Nvidia has argued that the purchase price alone means it has no incentive to mess with that neutrality but some rivals and Arm customers are unconvinced. “As we proceed through the review process, we’re confident that both regulators and customers will see the benefits of our plan to continue Arm’s open licensing model and ensure a transparent, collaborative relationship with Arm’s licensees,” an Nvidia spokesperson said in a statement.