Nvidia seeks EU approval for Arm deal, decision due Oct. 13


FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nvidia Corporation is seen during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) -Nvidia on Wednesday sought EU antitrust approval of its $54 billion takeover of British chip designer Arm, according to a European Commission filing, with regulators likely to echo worries similar to those voiced by the UK watchdog last month.

The world's biggest maker of graphics and AI chips announced the deal last year, triggering concerns in the semiconductor industry over whether Arm could remain a neutral player licensing key intellectual property to customers and rivals.

Worried customers include Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.

Arm customers Broadcom, MediaTek and Marvell are backing the deal.

"We are working through the regulatory process and we look forward to engaging with the European Commission to address any concerns they may have. This transaction will be beneficial to Arm, its licensees, competition, and the industry," Nvidia said in a statement.

It has previously said it would maintain Arm as a neutral technology supplier.

The EU competition enforcer can clear the $54 billion deal with or without concessions after its preliminary review or it can follow up with a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.

Britain's competition watchdog has warned that the deal could damage competition and weaken rivals, and required a further lengthy investigation.

Arm, owned by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, is a major player in global semiconductors, key to technologies from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to 5G telecoms networks. Its designs power nearly every smartphone and millions of other devices.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Kate Holton in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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