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Nvidia Arm deal is officially dead in the water

Nvidia has officially confirmed that it is pulling out of efforts to acquire pivotal UK microchip maker Arm, scrapping a deal that could have been worth upwards of $40 billion (£29.6 billion).

The American GPU giant and the current Arm owner, Japan’s Softbank, have both issued statements confirming that the Arm sale will not be going ahead.

“The parties agreed to terminate the Agreement because of significant regulatory challenges preventing the consummation of the transaction, despite good faith efforts by the parties,” said Nvidia.

While the two companies entered advanced talks on a deal in July of 2020, various legislative issues have prevented the deal from being sealed. Concerns over fair competition have prompted the likes of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to stall proceedings.

There were reports at the end of January that Nvidia was preparing to pull out of the deal amidst regulatory opposition, so this latest occurrence comes as no surprise.

Arm supplies semiconductor chips to all of the major mobile chip suppliers, including Apple, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung. In his company’s statement, Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang said that he expects Arm “to be the most important CPU architecture of the next decade”.

With Arm so central to entire industries, it was widely felt that allowing one interested party to control it would be harmful to innovation.

The fallout of the failed bid will include a $1.25 billion payment from Nvidia to Softbank, while Arm CEO Simon Segars is being replaced by the company’s current head of IP (and former Nvidia executive) Rene Haas.

More broadly, with the Nvidia Arm deal dead in the water, both companies have revealed that they are preparing for public offerings.

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