By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS: Nvidia’s $ 54 billion bid for UK chip designer ARM is set to be the subject of an extensive European antitrust investigation after concessions offered last week failed to address competition concerns, said said three people familiar with the matter.
An EU investigation would be the second setback for Nvidia to come two months after Britain’s antitrust agency warned that the deal for the country’s largest tech company could hurt competition and weaken rivals.
The European Commission is expected to end its preliminary examination on October 27 and a four-month investigation into the deal will now follow, the sources told Reuters.
A Commission spokesperson declined to comment.
“The regulatory process is confidential. The transaction will help transform Arm and spur competition and innovation, including in the UK,” said Nvidia Corp, a US technology company based in Silicon Valley.
The world’s largest maker of graphics chips and artificial intelligence (AI) has offered “behavioral remedies” to the Commission, the people said, without providing details.
These remedies generally refer to undertakings made by companies to take measures aimed at preserving competition.
Nvidia has said it will maintain ARM as a neutral technology provider in an effort to allay the concerns of customers such as Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.
The EU competition authority did not seek comments from rivals and customers on the concessions, saying they were not enough, people said.
Funders for the agreement include clients of ARM Broadcom, MediaTek and Marvell.