Britain's competition watchdog to probe Nvidia's Arm takeover

FILE PHOTO: The logo of technology company Nvidia is seen at its headquarters in Santa Clara, California February 11, 2015. . REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s competition regulator said on Wednesday it would start an investigation into Nvidia Corp’s $40 billion deal to buy UK-based chip designer Arm Holdings.

“The CMA is likely to consider whether, following the takeover, Arm has an incentive to withdraw, raise prices or reduce the quality of its IP licensing services to Nvidia’s rivals,” the Competition and Markets Authority said.

Nvidia struck a deal with Japan’s Softbank Group in September for Arm.

Britain’s government has been scrutinising the deal, including commitments from Nvidia to keep Arm’s head office and staff in Cambridge, eastern England.

Arm was sold to Softbank in 2016 after the Japanese conglomerate pledged to retain the company’s headquarters in Cambridge and increase employment.

Arm’s energy-efficient architecture underpins processors made by Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and others, making the technology ubiquitous in smartphones and a host of other devices.

The CMA said it was inviting views on the impact of the deal on competition.

Nvidia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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