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EU regulators have opened an investigation into the $ 40 billion purchase of graphics chip maker Nvidia from chip designer Arm

LONDON – European Union regulators on Wednesday opened an investigation into the purchase by graphics chip maker Nvidia of $ 40 billion from chip designer Arm, fearing it could limit competition, adding to the scrutiny global agreement.

The commission, which is the EU’s highest antitrust authority, said it fears the deal will lead to higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation in the semiconductor industry.

Nvidia Corp., based in Santa Clara, Calif., Said last year it was buying Arm from Japanese tech giant Softbank. The deal raised concerns that Arm would abandon its neutral business model of licensing its chip designs to hundreds of tech companies, including many of Nvidia’s competitors.

“Our investigation aims to ensure that companies operating in Europe continue to have effective access to the technology necessary to produce cutting-edge semiconductor products at competitive prices,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, responsible for competition. and digital. problems for the block.

Arm referred requests for comment to Nvidia, which said it was “working closely” with the commission.

“We look forward to the opportunity to address their initial concerns and continue to demonstrate that the transaction will help accelerate Arm and boost competition and innovation, including in the EU,” Nvidia said in a statement. .

The committee has until March 15 to decide whether or not to grant the deal. The EU’s concerns echo those cited by the UK competition watchdog, which opened its own investigation earlier this year.

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ABC News

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