The rumor swelled for a few weeks, it is now official. Nvidia abandons the idea of ​​buying ARM due to “significant regulatory challenges”, underlines a joint press release with Softbank. It is therefore the end of a project which saw the light of day in September 2020 when Nvidia had offered 40 billion dollars to seize the British firm. The operation raised concerns very early on from ARM customers and Nvidia’s competitors, but also from regulatory authorities in several countries.

We remember that the British competition authority had expressed reservations, but even more so the American FTC, which had torpedoed this operation last December by deciding to take legal action. She justified this decision because of the risks weighing on competition and innovation in the field of semiconductors. On the side of the competitors, the operation was not appreciated either. Indeed, this merger gave a strategic vision of what its direct competitors are doing. For the record, ARM designs chip designs and instruction sets which are then licensed to companies like Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and thousands of others. These share sensitive information with ARM to help them develop, design, test, debug, troubleshoot, maintain and improve their products. These are mostly found in smartphones, computers and connected objects (cars, watches, etc.).

By not completing the ARM takeover, Nvidia expects to pay $1.25 billion to Softbank (which will pass this amount into profit on the 4th fiscal quarter). Another collateral damage of this abandonment, the CEO of ARM, Simon Segars, announced his resignation after 30 years of good and loyal service. He was replaced by René Has, in charge of patents at ARM and former vice-president of Nvidia. After this failure, Softbank initiated the process to float ARM on the stock market by the end of the fiscal year (ending March 31, 2023).