What you need to know
- The UK has paused NVIDIA's ARM acquisition while it opens an investigation into national security concerns.
- It will also seek advice from interested third parties as part of this probe.
- NVIDIA has committed to cooperating with the investigation.
NVIDIA's Arm purchase has just hit a snag as the UK today announced that it would be halting the $40 billion deal pending the results of a probe.
The UK's Competiton and Markets Authority, or CMA, will be investigating the transaction. It will then issue a report focusing on "jurisdictional and competition issues" alongside a summary of any representations it receives on potential national security issues arising from a consultation it will launch to gather third-party views.
One might imagine Qualcomm and Graphcore would have a lot to contribute to the third party views section, for example. Qualcomm had reached out to the CMA, alongside the FTC and European commissions, over concerns that NVIDIA could restrict access to its IP from rivals. Additionally, the UK government will delve into the national security implications, particularly around 5G and AI, for example.
In a press release issued today, the UK's Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
As per Reuters, NVIDIA says that there are no national security concerns arising from its Arm purchase. A spokesperson added;
NVIDIA had announced its acquisition of Arm from Softbank last year, declaring its interest in leveraging Arms's R&D prowess to help bolster its AI ambitions. Relevant to the UK's interest, NVIDIA had committed to establishing a "world-class AI research and education center" in Cambridge, UK. It would also build a "state-of-the-art AI supercomputer" to attract researchers worldwide to the center.
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