NVIDIA's Arm acquisition may take longer than expected amid regulatory scrutiny

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti (Image credit: NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA says its acquisition of Arm is very likely to stretch beyond the 18-month deal timeframe.
  • The deal is currently being scrutinized by regulators in the U.S., U.K., and China.
  • NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang is still hopeful of completing the acquisition by the end of 2022.

NVIDIA has finally admitted that its acquisition of British chip designer Arm is taking longer than it had expected. The deal was announced in September last year and is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

"Our discussions with regulators are taking longer than initially thought, so it's pushing out the timetable, " Huang told the Financial Times. He added that the company is confident in the deal and hopeful that regulators will "recognize the benefits of the acquisition." In addition to regulators, the deal also faces opposition from chip companies that rely on Arm's core designs.

In the U.K., the government ordered an investigation of the acquisition over national security concerns in April this year. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission began reviewing the deal in February after Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm complained that it would harm competition.

In China, NVIDIA submitted a formal application with antitrust regulators only in June, nearly eight months after the deal was announced. Local lawyers believe an investigation is likely to take up to eighteen months, which could make things difficult for NVIDIA. Back in 2018, Qualcomm had to terminate its $44 billion NXP bid due to a drawn-out antitrust review by regulators in China.

NVIDIA's agreement with SoftBank gives it until the end of 2022 to complete the acquisition. NVIDIA is hopeful of being able to secure regulatory approval for the deal before then. Yoshimitsu Goto, SoftBank's chief financial officer, had also told investors last week that the company believes the deal is likely to be successfully closed within that timeframe.

Arm licenses its chip technology to some of the biggest tech companies in the world — including Apple, Intel, Samsung, and Amazon. Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets, which power the best Android phones on the market, also use Arm's designs.

Babu Mohan
News Writer