UK government could block NVIDIA's ARM takeover plans

The ARM logo in front of the UK parliament

The UK government could halt NVIDIA’s takeover of ARM due to national security concerns, according to a report from Bloomberg. The news outlets said its sources were ‘people familiar with the discussions.’ A year ago today, one of ARM’s co-founders, Hermann Hauser told BBC News that the sale of the firm to NVIDIA would be a disaster.

According to the report, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to do a report on whether the deal is anti-competitive and whether there would be any national security concerns. The report was delivered to the government last month and allegedly contains national security implications that are worrying. The government could conduct another review that would focus on the national security concerns specifically.

One of the sources said the government is currently inclined to reject the takeover while another said that no final decision had yet been made and that the deal may be approved if certain conditions are met.

Responding to the news, NVIDIA told Bloomberg that:

“We continue to work through the regulatory process with the U.K. government. We look forward to their questions and expect to resolve any issues they may have.”

ARM is currently owned by the Japanese firm, SoftBank. Bloomberg says it’s unclear how the company moving from Japanese to American hands will make a difference to the country’s national security.

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