The UK government is launching a national-security review of Nvidia Corp’s $40 billion deal to acquire british chip designer Arm from SoftBank Group Corp., raising a new obstacle for an industry-reshaping proposal facing noteworthy regulatory scrutiny around the world.
UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden on Monday invoked a little-used power to order the country’s antitrust agency to investigate the merger’s national-security implications and deliver a report by July 30. The secretary can eventually clear the deal, with or without conditions, or refuse it.
The national-security review comes on top of the agency’s previously revealed plans to look into the deal on antitrust grounds.
The UK probe is the latest example of how governments around the world are increasingly securing control over semiconductor technology, after the past year displayed how access to advanced microprocessors can make or break some of their largest companies.