WSJ: SoftBank Nears $40 Billion Deal to Sell Arm Holdings to Nvidia

Cara Lombardo and Maureen Farrell, reporting for The Wall Street Journal (News+):

SoftBank Group Corp. is nearing a deal to sell British chip designer Arm Holdings to Nvidia Corp. for more than $40 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest in a series of big asset sales by the Japanese technology conglomerate. […]

A sale to Nvidia could prompt scrutiny from antitrust regulators and potentially pushback from Arm’s customers, which include major chip makers and electronics manufacturers such as Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.

I’m not saying Apple wouldn’t object — I don’t know — but Apple isn’t a customer of Arm in the way this suggests. Apple’s chips do use the ARM64 instruction set, but I believe Apple already has a perpetual license for that. Apple does not license chips or chip designs from Arm — Apple’s chips are its own designs, which is why they offer performance unlike those of any other Arm licensee. This too is why Apple wasn’t interested in itself acquiring Arm Holdings: Arm’s business is about licensing technology to other companies; Apple’s business is about keeping its technology for itself.

Saturday, 12 September 2020