November 14 (Reuters) – British ministers are expected to order a thorough investigation into Nvidia Corps’ (NVDA.O) planned £ 30 billion ($ 40 billion) acquisition of British chip designer ARM due to antitrust and national security concerns, the Sunday Times reported .
Britain’s digital and culture minister Nadine Dorries is expected to instruct the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct a ‘phase two’ inquiry into the deal next week, the report said.
The American company agreed to buy ARM from Japanese Softbank in September 2020, which triggered a setback from politicians, rivals and customers.
ARM’s technology is used by competing chip manufacturers, such as Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Apple, to produce their own processors.
Chipmakers worry that ARM will not retain its neutral player status under Nvidia’s ownership.
Nvidia has said that the fear is unfounded.
Nevertheless, the UK’s CMA sounded the alarm over the agreement in August, saying that the merged entity could reduce competition in markets around the world that rely on chip technology.
The government has assessed the CMA’s findings, as well as assessed the possible national security consequences of the agreement.
A full in-depth investigation will take around six months, after which the government can block the takeover, approve it or let it pass with certain companies.
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports declined to comment on the Sunday Times report.
($ 1 = £ 0.7455)
Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Hugh Lawson
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.