The United States Federal Trade Commission has opened a comprehensive review Planned acquisition of Nvidia from SoftBank’s computer chip design group Arm, putting it at the forefront of what is expected to be a series of inquiries around the world into a deal with far-reaching ramifications in the tech industry.
The agency has sent requests for comment from companies that have already filed complaints or may be affected by the deal, according to two people familiar with the movement. European and British regulators prepare themselves for their own investigation, and the leaders involved in the deal also view China as a potential threat.
Qualcomm, the leading maker of mobile communications chips, is among companies that have previously reported their dissatisfaction to regulators, according to a person familiar with the review. The deal has also raised concerns among many Armsother customers within five months of the announcement.
Arm’s designs for low power chips are used as the basis for the processors of most smartphones. Nvidia has said it wants to buy the company primarily to expand the use of its designs to data centers, where the demands of artificial intelligence and cloud computing have led to a need for more energy efficient processors.
This potentially put Nvidia on a collision course with some of the biggest tech companies, which buy large volumes of data center chips. Some, including Amazon, have also started to design their own Arm-based processors.
If allowed to buy Arm, Nvidia will be able to favor its own data center chip business at the expense of other companies that also use Arm’s designs, according to an official at a company that challenged the deal.
Another complained that Nvidia would have access to sensitive data about its competitors, as these companies share their future product plans with Arm to improve the company’s designs.
Nvidia declined to say whether it had been contacted by the FTC, but said it was “confident that regulators and customers will see the benefits of our plan to keep Arm’s open licensing model and ensure an open licensing model. transparent and collaborative relationship with Arm license holders.