The ARM co-founder is not happy with Nvidia’s takeover of the company he created: after issuing warnings in August, Hermann Hauser spends the second by launching a petition to urge the British government to block the sale of the national semiconductor flagship to the American company Nvidia.
Although an Austrian citizen by birth, Hermann Hauser is one of the highest figures of “Silicon Fen”, the miniature equivalent of the Silicon Valley which developed around Cambridge. Knight of the Order of the British Empire, member of the Royal Society and with a horde of business start-ups and other local charities to his credit, Hermann Hauser is a figure listened to by all across the Channel.
The redemption, he already predicted last August “a disaster”. Not for Nvidia, but for ARM. Pointing in the petition to previous takeovers of British companies by Americans (Cadbury by Kraft), Mr Hauser predicted that ARM’s “ will lead to loss of jobs and UK influence In the management of ARM. And to add that this takeover endangers the business model of ARM which is to be ” Switzerland of the semiconductor industry by managing more than 500 licensees on an equal basis (of the license) ”.
But no doubt aware that these arguments weigh very little in the face of a ticket of 40 billion dollars, Mr Hauser ends with the only weapon powerful enough to move a government in these times of economic war: sovereignty.
Recalling the dominant position of ARM in the smartphone sector, Mr Hauser’s petition warns against GAFAM, the USA / China battle, the martial use that Mr Trump makes of the technological dominance of the USA. And to specify that in the event that ARM becomes American, it would then have to comply with the country’s export regulations (OFAC Regulations, laws which today prevent many American companies from doing business with Huawei, ndr). Even if the jobs were partly preserved, “ the decision of who ARM is allowed to sell to would be made in the White House and no longer in Downing Street ».
Blocking the legal takeover – and what is more to a Japanese fund – of ARM seems difficult to achieve by the current British government, already entangled in Brexit. Aware of this fact, the purpose of the petition is less to derail the sale than to alert the government. Arguing that “ handing over the most powerful weapon in British commerce to the US would turn the UK into a vassal of the US ”, The petition adds that the deal can only lead to a satisfactory result by imposing very strict legal constraints.
- The legal obligation to maintain jobs in the UK.
- The legal obligation for Nvidia not to arrogate to itself preferential treatment in relation to ARM customers
- US must exempt UK to ensure UK businesses will always have access to their national processor technology (ARM, ndr)
The other alternative approached by the petition would be the arrival of the British government in the capital of the company through a ” golden share », A reference share which allows a minority shareholder in shares to have a right of veto.
It is impossible to know how Boris Johnson’s cabinet will react to this initiative. But one thing seems certain: it is not just the British government that must start to worry about this strengthening of the consolidation of the American ultra dominance of semiconductors. After all, it was the ARM instructions that were chosen by the European Processor Initiative, a European … sovereign processor production project.
Source : Save ARM