Ministers preparing to intervene in Nvidia’s £30bn swoop on Arm in move that could scupper controversial deal

  • The Culture Secretary will conduct an investigation of the matter.
  • The investigation will be carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority 
  • Softbank has owned the Cambridge-based Arm since 2016. 

Ministers are preparing to intervene in Nvidia’s £30billion swoop on Arm in a move that could scupper the controversial deal. 

Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary will order an investigation of the agreement on grounds of national security or competition this week. 

The Competition and Markets Authority is conducting the investigation. This will come as a major blow to Nvidia, the US chipmaker that agreed to takeover in September. 

Probe: Nadine Dorries will order an in-depth investigation into the deal on national security and competition grounds

Probe: Nadine Dowries will launch an extensive investigation into the transaction on grounds of national security or competition.

This comes at a time when a worldwide shortage of microchips is sending shockwaves through the manufacturing sector, slowing down production lines. 

And it is the latest in a string of Government interventions in deals that target strategically important companies with cutting-edge technology. 

Since 2016, Arm, a Cambridge-based company, has been held by Softbank of Japan, which is politically neutral. 

Apple is one of Arm’s clients. Apple has made use of Arm chips to make its iPhones. This technology is found in devices like smart TVs, smartphones and automobiles that connect to the Internet. 

Officials from the EU and China have raised concern about potential harm that the Nvidia deal could cause to competitors. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) called for a full investigation into the deal in August over concerns it could stifle innovation, lead to less competition and drive up prices. 

CMA said that Nvidia will have the ‘ability, and incentive’ harming rivals with Arm’s technology. If the merger is granted the go-ahead, 

Nvidia has offered a concession that it would not cut off access for licensees to its chip designs – though many are still sceptical that this would go far enough. 

Dorries will have to accept the CMA’s decision on whether the deal could harm rivals – though she will have the final say on national security. 

Sunday Times reported the intervention weeks ahead of the new National Security and Investment Act, which gives ministers more power to investigate potentially dangerous deals.