Report: NVIDIA to Abandon Its $40 Billion Arm Acquisition

Posted on January 25, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile with 14 Comments

Bloomberg reports that NVIDIA is quietly preparing to abandon its $40 billion acquisition of Arm from Softbank in the wake of pushback from Arm partners and regulatory scrutiny. As a result, Softbank will likely look at taking Arm public via an IPO, the report says.

Despite this, both NVIDIA and Arm presented an optimistic public face.

“We continue to hold the views expressed in detail in our latest regulatory filings, that this transaction provides an opportunity to accelerate Arm and boost competition and innovation,” and NVIDIA statement reads.

“We remain hopeful that the transaction will be approved,” SoftBank added.

It won’t be. As soon as NVIDIA announced its intention to acquire Arm in September 2020, the deal came under fire from Arm’s partners—companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, and others that rely on Arm technologies—and from regulatory bodies around the world.

The UK struck first, stating that it would “intervene” in April 2021 for national security reasons. And by August 2021, NVIDIA was forced to admit that the acquisition, which it had hoped to conclude by the end of that year, would be delayed.

But the UK wasn’t alone in resisting the deal. China revealed that NVIDIA didn’t seek regulatory approval for the deal there until June 2021 and that its investigation would take 18 months. And the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to block the acquisition in December 2021, citing competitive concerns. That was, perhaps, the final nail in the coffin: according to Bloomberg, NVIDIA has made “little to no progress in winning approval for the deal.”

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Report: NVIDIA to Abandon Its $40 Billion Arm Acquisition”

  1. trparky

    Good. Having greedy nVidia buy arm would've been very, very bad.

  2. Cdorf

    I think the most shocking thing is that China has a regulatory approval process......

  3. wright_is

    I think this is good. Arm should remain independent.

  4. blue77star

    Having Nvidia buying ARM would be awesome cause they would make great products. If Microsoft buys it, they will just screw things up like everything else.

    • lvthunder

      I don't think anyone mentioned that Microsoft would buy it. I doubt any US company could buy it and get through the approval process.

  5. rm

    If ARM has a big takeover target on it still. I hope it is a US or European company that buys them. Tired of seeing ASIAN companies take over all the tech companies.

  6. BLeduc

    So, taking ARM public does not sound like ARM would remain independent. Isn't it true that once a shareholder gets over 50% of the shares, they are in control of the company?

  7. ringofvoid

    If it’s too threatening for any industry player to own ARM then the only real solution that a to fund ARM as aN independent FOSS foundation that contributes equally to the industry.

  8. red.radar

    Arm could be the next great IPO.

    especially if firms try to Compete for controlling share.

    • bkkcanuck

      Actually, what will happen is a good chunk of the shares will be owned by institutional investors (funds, etc.) [lets say for argument sake], and another chunk of the investors will be people investing in the stock... So like any other public company, they won't be controlled by another company. I believe you can buy up to typically (in most western countries) 20% but once you hit 20% of a company you trigger takeover provisions and are required to make a bid for all shares. This would trigger review as it has by nVidia etc. and a lot of companies would have problems with regulators (especially if the business taking it over is incompatible with ARM as nVidia is with their business focused over proprietary (not licensed) chip IP. ARM IPO would likely receive a warm welcome, but it would not be firms trying to get control of it...