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Microsoft, Google, and Qualcomm complain to U.S. Antitrust Regulators Regarding NVIDIA's Purchase of ARM

3liteDragon

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Microsoft, Google, and Qualcomm are among major tech companies that have complained to U.S. antitrust regulators regarding NVIDIA's acquisition of Arm Ltd. Bloomberg reports that at least once complaining company wants the deal killed, though it did not specify which. The concern from the tech giants is that NVIDIA purchasing Arm will hurt competition. Microsoft, Google, and Qualcomm are asking antitrust officials to intervene with the deal, according to sources that spoke with Bloomberg that have asked to not be identified because they aren't authorized to speak on the subject publicly.

NVIDIA officially started to acquire Arm limited in September 2020, though rumors of a potential deal started in July 2020. The deal price was valued at $40 billion and was announced by NVIDIA. Arm licenses out its chip designs and software to several major tech companies, including Apple, Intel, Samsung Electronics, Amazon, and many others. You've likely used one of their chips on a phone, tablet, or PC at some point. Bloomberg calls Arm the "Switzerland of the industry" and highlights the concern that NVIDIA owning Arm could limit access to chips for rival companies. According to Bloomberg, NVIDIA claims that there isn't any incentive to change the neutrality of Arm. The company cites the purchase price of Arm as a reason to not change what's working, but Bloomberg states that rival companies and many people don't believe that to be the case.

This is a breaking news story, so more details regarding the complaint are likely to emerge.
 

SlimeGooGoo

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The concern from the tech giants is that NVIDIA purchasing Arm will hurt competition
 

x@3f*oo_e!

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You would think that Apple would feel threatened by this. But no, it's everyone else.
They (Apple) were a founder of ARM, as part of a joint venture with Acorn and VSLI, and so have special rights even today. afaik they don't ever need to pay anyone for ARM licenses etc - it can't affect them

(someone might want to correct me on details, but I think this is right) [.. it's kindof like AMD has an x86 license, but nobody else has except Intel ..or something]
 
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daveonezero

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So why not just give up arm and start supporting RISC. Isn't that MS whole philosophy? Embrace extend extinguish....

edit I meant Risc V
 
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DESTROYA

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Sounds more like sour grapes to me , those companies complaining would do the same thing nvidia is doing if given the chance.
 
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ethomaz

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They (Apple) were a founder of ARM, as part of a joint venture with Acorn and VSLI, and so have special rights even today. afaik they don't ever need to pay anyone for ARM licenses etc - it can't affect them

(someone might want to correct me on details, but I think this is right) [.. it's kindof like AMD has an x86 license, but nobody else has except Intel ..or something]
Apple pays licences fee for use ARM ISA... nVidia purchase won't change that because nVidia won't change that ARM business model (at lest not in a early-mid term... I don't know about a long term future).
Well let's explain better... ARM has two types of licenses:

  • Chipset design licence: you got the design of their Cortex cores and ask some foundry to produce them.
  • ISA licence: you get only the instructions set architecture so you can design your own processor and produce it.
Apple pays for the second.
They created the Apple processors designed by Apple using the ARM ISA license.
 
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Elios83

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Ridiculous.
Huge giants that in some cases have a proved history of abusing their position (see MS and the battles with EU antitrust) are so afraid that an other company might become like them:messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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ethomaz

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Right that’s why Nvidia wants to buy them, so that nothing changes. Here’s how nothing changes, by things staying as they are...
nVidia doesn't want to change the open-licensing model of ARM... that will continue the same.
So it doesn't affect consumers like Apple.

nVidia wants to be in everywhere so buying ARM was the fastest way for that.
Not only that they want to increase the compatibility of ARM design (ISA and Cortex) with their own technology.
And that will help nVidia to create new products (Tegra for example).

It makes sense the merge of these two companies because they fit and add to each other.

You will say but adding nVidia Tecnology is changing things...
No. You have the option to build your own ARM design with what you want with the ISA license.
Cortex will probably integrate nVidia technology but that is a ARM design so it is like they want to be.
 
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Sweden85

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Right that’s why Nvidia wants to buy them, so that nothing changes. Here’s how nothing changes, by things staying as they are...
Why would MS buy anything if it stays the same?
If you're analogy is true, then MS buying Zenimax doesn't change anything...
 

ethomaz

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RISC-V is different.

Well you forget the V.

It is the same as use the ARM ISA Licence like Apple without pay the fees.
The actual issue is the compatibility with all the software already made for ARM.
Start a new architecture from 0 is never easy... it can take decades before become a thing.
 
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daveonezero

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Well you forget the V.

It is the same as use the ARM ISA Licence like Apple without pay the fees.
The actual issue is the compatibility with all the software already made for ARM.
Start a new architecture from 0 is never easy... it can take decades before become a thing.
yeah sorry.

And of course but with all these big companies integrating all their own software and hardware solutions it is about time there are disruptions. Especially if it means the downfall of control through intellectual property.
 

Thirty7ven

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nVidia doesn't want to change the open-licensing model of ARM... that will continue the same.
So it doesn't affect consumers like Apple.

There’s no value added to the market. Nvidia can just get a license like the rest. Their history doesn’t paint a pretty picture either.


Why would MS buy anything if it stays the same?
If you're analogy is true, then MS buying Zenimax doesn't change anything...

Zenimax deal is nowhere near the size of this deal, and for all intents and purposes, they are a small publisher.

I think you misunderstood what I said also. MS buying Zenimax changes Zenimax.
 
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Sophist

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NVIDIA is now the owner of a lot of crucial patents in cpu design. Patents that Apple is probably relying on for its own chip.
 

ethomaz

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NVIDIA is now the owner of a lot of crucial patents in cpu design. Patents that Apple is probably relying on for its own chip.
ARM business is to license the ISA or sell the Cortex cores.
Apply pay the fee to use the ISA to design it own ARM core... that won’t change.

Apple is getting out from Intel for two reasons: 1) not buy a product, instead create it own design and produce it... it is way cheaper for them just to pay the ARM ISA fees than buy the CPU product from Intel; 2) Apple is having a lot os issues with Intel chips due the lack of QA on Intel side;.

So Apple will continue paying the fee for the ARM ISA and move all their product.

That is exactly why Apple is not saying anything about the NVIDIA x ARM deal.

Now the companies that buy the Cortex core like Qualcomm is having fear of NVIDIA putting their tech integration inside the Cortex core... that is why they don’t want the deal to happen... I believe Samsung and Google are in that side.

Samsung used to develop it own ARM cores with the ISA license like Apple but seems like this year they moved to use Cortex cores so they are in the same situation than Qualcomm.
 
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Dane

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NVIDIA has a bad reputation when it comes to relationships with other companies. OG XBox for example only lasted 4 years in production because Nvidia tried to sell the GPUs for more than it was stated in the contract and they resolved this out of court by ceasing production once the new console came in.
 
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Genx3

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No body gave a shit when T-Mobile bought Sprint so why should they care about this?
 
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Which side is the underdog?

Seriously, I think there are very good reasons to be worried about nvidia's handling of a product mainly based on licensing IPs.
 
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it's kindof like AMD has an x86 license, but nobody else has except Intel ..or something
If I recall correctly...Intel owns the rights to x86 so AMD has to pay Intel licensing fees for that, but AMD owns x86_64, so Intel has to pay AMD licensing fees for that. They basically end up negating each other.
 

RoboFu

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I mean it was a great get for nvidia. Smaller task specific arm processors are going to big in the coming years.
 

BennyBlanco

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I still can't believe Nvidia had the capital for this. I guess their stuff outside GPUs is huge.
 

ChuckeRearmed

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MS of all complaining about this...
And what about it? MS is all for open access for everything - GamePass, Windows where you can run everything and other stuff.

Considering that have the history in 90s regarding anti-trust clauses they know what they are doing.
 
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Drew1440

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So why not just give up arm and start supporting RISC. Isn't that MS whole philosophy? Embrace extend extinguish....

edit I meant Risc V
You wonder why MS never invested into MIPS or PowerPC when they had the chance. I know early versions of Windows Nt supported them along with SPARC which just fizzled out in favour of x86
 

ethomaz

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And what about it? MS is all for open access for everything - GamePass, Windows where you can run everything and other stuff.

Considering that have the history in 90s regarding anti-trust clauses they know what they are doing.
You are using the open word in the wrong way I believe.

Gamepass and Windows are the very example of closed... in both you can’t put or run everything you want... only MS can put games on Gamepass and only MS can access the core/kernel of Windows.

You are only allowed to do what MS let you do.

ARM business is the complete opposite... you have the ISA documentation and can do whatever you want to design your own chip... that is what is called Open... you have a arch spec (ISA) and you do it the way you want.
 
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