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Nvidia to scrap $40bn takeover of chip firm Arm: report

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Nvidia is scrapping its bid to buy chip powerhouse Arm over pressure from regulators, according to a report./AFP
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Feb 08, 2022 - 06:09 AM

TOKYO, JAPAN — US firm Nvidia is scrapping its $40 billion bid to buy UK mobile chip technology powerhouse Arm from SoftBank after persistent objections from regulators, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

Nvidia and SoftBank Group both declined to comment on the report, which cited three unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the deal.

But the collapse would be no surprise, after recent speculation that the deal was on the verge of failure following pressure from US, UK and EU regulators concerned it would undermine competition.

In December, US regulators filed a lawsuit seeking to block the merger, while British and European regulators had ordered probes into the deal.

Japan’s SoftBank Group announced in 2020 that it was selling Arm for up to $40 billion in a deal it hoped to complete in early 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.

The value of the cash-and-shares deal has risen since as stock markets have rallied, with Nvidia’s shares soaring.

The California-based firm is one of the world’s largest and most valuable computing companies, while Arm creates and licenses microprocessor designs and architectures.

Nvidia, known for graphics cards favoured in the video game industry, saw sales soar during Covid-19 lockdowns as gaming exploded in popularity.

When the merger plan was announced, Nvidia said it would accelerate innovation and “create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence.”

Founded in 1990, Arm dominates the global smartphone market and its technology has been used in more than 180 billion chips shipped worldwide.

It is also present in cloud computing and the internet of things.

SoftBank had purchased Arm in 2016 for $32 billion, and now hopes to offload the firm through an initial public offering, the Financial Times reported.

SoftBank would prefer to list the company in New York but could face British pressure for a listing in London.

The deal’s collapse also prompted Arm’s chief executive to step aside, the FT said.

SoftBank is set to report its earnings in Tokyo later on Tuesday.

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