The European Commission (EC) this week extended its probe of Nvidia's proposed acquisition of Arm until at least October 27 and said that Nvidia offered the EU certain concessions to in a bid to persuade the bloc's antimonopoly regulators to approve the deal. Experts say that the EU regulatory review will take considerably longer.
In a bid to make regulators approve the deal to acquire Arm, Nvidia is eager to offer various incentives to respective countries or blocs. In the U.K., the company proposed to invest 'at least' $100 million in the country's most powerful supercomputer. The EC said that it had received concessions proposal from Nvidia as well, but did not elaborate, reports Bloomberg.
Now that the probe is formally extended to October 27, the EU competition authority will request opinion from competitors and clients before determining whether to accept Nvidia's concessions, demand more or initiate a four-month long investigation, reports Reuters. Bloomberg believes that the probe will be extended further, which will give the EC some additional time to seek feedback from interested parties and figure out what it might get from Nvidia.
The U.K.'s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) in August started an in-depth Phase 2 probe of Nvidia's planned purchase of Arm that could potentially take up to 24 weeks and could be extended by up to an additional 8 weeks. Earlier this year CMA expressed concerns on national security grounds when it launched its Phase 1 probe.
Analysts from Citigroup gave Nvidia's proposed buyout of Arm a 10% chance of approval by all regulatory agencies in the world back in April.
Nvidia is trying to persuade antimonopoly regulators in different countries that its proposed acquisition of Arm is highly complementary as Nvidia does not have significant interest in CPU business, whereas Arm does not develop its own standalone GPUs. Nvidia's opponents like Qualcomm and Samsung worry that once Nvidia gains Arm's CPU IP, it will restrict their access to the latest technologies in a bid to produce leading-edge processors itself. Nvidia says that it has no such plans.
In general, many Arm clients want the UK-base processor IP designer to stay an independent designer of CPUs and GPU and do not want Nvidia to have influence on hundreds of Arm licensees and even on international projects, such as development of Arm-based exascale supercomputers in Europe. Meanwhile, Broadcom, Marvell, and MediaTek support the transaction.