Three American tech companies, Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, have raised concerns with regulators in the US, EU, UK, and China over Nvidia’s proposed big-ticket ARM acquisition.
The tech giants are worried that the proposed $40 billion ARM acquisition could change how the company licenses its ubiquitous chipmaking technology commonly used in most smartphones. This is according to reports from CNBC and Bloomberg.
Despite Nvidia’s assurance that the company will “maintain Arm’s open licensing model,” the tech giants don’t believe the GPU maker will be incentivized to do so.
“We have no intention to ‘throttle’ or ‘deny’ Arm’s supply to any customer,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said.
Nvidia says the deal is all about Artificial Intelligence, a sector that the company has had a massive focus on in the recent past.
“AI is the most powerful technology force of our time. It’s the automation of automation, where software writes software,” the company’s CEO said in a press call in September last year after the acquisition news.
“Together, [we are] going to create the world’s premier computing company for the age of AI.”
But of course, you can’t expect Nvidia to cough up a whopping $40 billion just for AI. As such, the three tech companies argue that Nvidia won’t be incentivized to keep ARM’s open licensing model.
The ARM acquisition could potentially affect the three, considering their interest in the company’s chipmaking technology. Qualcomm uses the ARM architecture in its chip, while Google and Microsoft are reportedly working on their in-house chips based on ARM’s chipmaking technology.
The company will also use ARM to boost its GPU business. Nvidia’s investment in A.I is paying off with recent advancements like machine learning-powered upscaling, helping the company deliver better-performing GPUs that can also be used in self-driving cars.
While Nvidia and Arm continue to beat the driving A.I forward drums; market regulators are ready to probe the matter.
So far so good, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, and the European Commission have begun investigations.