Nvidia has announced the acquisition of the British ARM for 40 billion dollars, shaking up the entire hardware and technology market in general, from the world of smartphones to that of data centers. Many have expressed appreciation and curiosity for the operation and the possible synergies between the two companies, with Nvidia ensuring that ARM will continue to license its projects as it has always done, allowing important customers such as Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung to sleep soundly.
Not everyone believes Nvidia’s words and approves the operation, for example one of the co-founders of ARM, Hermann Hauser, initiated the “Save ARM” campaign to induce the UK government to interfere with the deal, or to revoke it and put together a consortium with public support. Hauser wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which it says extremely worried for the operation and how it will impact jobs in the country, on the business model of ARM and the future of economic sovereignty of the country with respect to the United States and its interests.
Hauser has created a site to get public support – savearm.co.uk – and started collecting signatures. The co-founder of ARM asks the government to intervene, or at least to
create legally binding provisions the confirmation of the jobs, the fact that Nvidia does not obtain preferential treatment compared to other customers and the possibility for other companies in the country to have unlimited access to computing technology.
Co-founder dislikes ARM ending up in US hands, as it will become subject to US export regulations and this could create problems given the growing tensions in the technological field between the Trump administration and Beijing. “The decision on which customers ARM can sell to will be made at the White House and not Downing Street,” he writes. “Sovereignty in the past was primarily a geographic issue, but now economic sovereignty is just as important. The handover of the UK’s most powerful commercial weapon to the US is making Britain a vassal state of the United States“.
Despite assurances from Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and ARM executives, Hauser recommends “do not believe any non-legally binding statements“. Nvidia has assured that ARM’s headquarters will remain in Cambridge and that it will invest in the UK, but Hauser thinks that sooner or later there will be a move to the United States and this will inevitably lead to the loss of jobs and UK influence, as we saw with Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury. “Co-founder thinks selling ARM to a company that essentially competes with its own customers will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to proclaim its independence and guaranteeing equal access to technology with absolute certainty.
Nvidia CEO Huang, for his part, seems convinced that the acquisition process will go through and defends the operation. Market regulators, in his view, are “logical” and “work to protect competition in markets.  Nvidia and ARM are totally complementary. Nvidia doesn’t design CPUs, we don’t have an instruction set. Nvidia does not license intellectual property to semiconductor companies and we are not competitors to that effect. And we have every intention of adding additional intellectual property to that commitment. And unlike ARM, Nvidia doesn’t participate in the smartphone market. For these reasons the two companies are truly complementary “.
“Customers will see the advantage and so will the agencies that regulate the market: our intention to combine the engineering and technical capability, research and development capability of both companies, so that we can accelerate technological development for the vast ARM ecosystem, “concluded Huang.