It appears that NVIDIA is about to undergo some serious scrutiny for its intent to acquire world-renowned British semiconductor and software design company Arm. According to a report by The Telegraph, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asked CEO Jensen Huang and co. to hand over documents related to the deal for what is said to be an intense, months-long investigation.
“Watchdog chiefs have sent a so-called second request to the company – a notice requiring it to dig out detailed material on which to base a competition investigation,” The Telegraph noted. “The FTC is likely to seek reams of internal documents and interview executives as part of the process.”
Prompting the investigation is the ubiquity of Arm technology and its chip designs, which are licensed by hundreds of companies for use in smartphones, tablets, routers, and other gadgets across the world. Arm’s customers are afraid that NVIDIA’s ownership might lead to unfair business advantages or higher prices.
“US regulators are likely to seek assurances from Nvidia that buying Arm will not limit others’ access to its technology,” The Telegraph wrote. “If it believes a conflict of interest is unavoidable then the FTC may sue to block the merger, which could trigger years of delays.”
NVIDIA announced its intention to acquire Arm for $40 billion on September 13, noting that the partnership would boost both companies’ leadership in the artificial intelligence arena. In addition to the establishment of a new world-class AI research and education center in Cambridge, UK, NVIDIA also stated that it would continue Arm’s open-licensing model and neutrality.
“AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing,” Huang said. “In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today’s internet-of-people. Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI.”