Nvidia’s arm acquisition is to be investigated by the British competitors watchdog

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, wears his usual leather jacket.

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LONDON – The British competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority, announced on Wednesday that it would investigate Nvidia’s proposed acquisition of British chip designer Arm.

Nvidia announced plans to buy the Cambridge-headquartered company from SoftBank last September for $ 40 billion, and critics have since urged governments and regulators to look into the deal.

The CMA asked third parties to provide their views on the impact of the deal on competition in the UK before opening a formal investigation later this year.

“The chip technology industry is worth billions and is critical to many of the products we use most in our daily lives,” said Andrea Coscelli, executive director of the CMA, in a statement.

“We will work closely with other competition authorities around the world to carefully examine the impact of the business and ensure that consumers are not ultimately presented with more expensive or lower quality products,” added Coscelli.

With 6,500 employees, including 3,000 in the UK, Arm is widely considered to be the jewel in the crown of the UK tech industry. Its chips provide power to most of the world’s smartphones and many other devices.

Simon Segars, Arm’s chief executive, told CNBC in December that he expected regulators to “look closely” at the deal.

“Regulatory approvals are required in many countries around the world,” Segars said last month. “It’s a long process. There’s a lot of interaction with regulators to provide the information we want.”

When the acquisition was announced, Nvidia and Arm were hoping to close the deal by early 2022.

Two UK tech investors predicted last October that the acquisition would be blocked.

Nvidia did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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