Nvidia announced last fall that it was officially starting the process of acquiring Arm Holdings from SoftBank for $40 billion. In the months since we’ve seen concerns from competitors and the deal hasn’t yet been approved or shut down by regulators. Now Qualcomm has shared that if the sale to Nvidia is blocked, it and others would invest in Arm.
Back in February, Qualcomm spoke up about its concerns around Nvidia acquiring Arm to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), European Commission, and China’s State Administration for Market Regulation. And Google and Microsoft did the same.
While Apple relies on licensing from Arm for its A and M-series chips and would presumably have a strong interest in the outcome, it hasn’t publicly objected to the Nvidia acquisition at this point. But Qualcomm, Google, and Microsoft have expressed their concerns that Nvidia owning Arm could make it a gatekeeper to companies trying to lease its intellectual property.
For its part, Nvidia has promised if the deal goes through that Arm will “continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success.”
“If Arm has an independent future, I think you will find there is a lot of interest from a lot of the companies within the ecosystem, including Qualcomm, to invest in Arm,” Amon said. “If it moves out of SoftBank and it goes into a process of becoming a publicly-traded company, [with] a consortium of companies that invest, including many of its customers, I think those are great possibilities.”
Explaining further on the idea of investing in Arm, Amon said Qualcomm would “definitely be open to it” and that it has “had discussions with other companies that feel the same way,” The Telegraph said.
Qualcomm didn’t respond to a request for comment from CNBC, but Nvidia did share a statement reaffirming why it wants to buy Arm and a vague mention of partnering with Qualcomm:
“Arm needs an infusion of new technology that it can provide to Arm licensees everywhere, which is why we stepped up and agreed to buy Arm,” the spokesperson said. “Our technologies and Qualcomm’s are highly complementary — we’d welcome Qualcomm’s help in creating new technologies and products for the entire Arm ecosystem.”
In the event Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Google would have the opportunity to invest in Arm, Apple would likely be there right alongside them with how important Arm technology is to its hardware ecosystem.
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