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30 June, 2021 - 21:54 By Tony Quested

Broadcom leads support for $40bn Arm acquisition

NVIDIA’s $40 billion bid to acquire Arm in Cambridge has received a massive boost as the UK government finalises an inquiry into potential anti-trust implications of a takeover.

The $24 billion revenue Broadcom, with operations at Cambridge Science Park, has given its blessing to the deal, along with fellow world-leading chip businesses MediaTek and Marvell. They are all Arm customers and other big hitters are expected to join the procession.

Hock Tan, president and chief executive of Broadcom, said in a statement shared with CNBC that his company was backing the deal after receiving necessary assurances. A source within NVIDIA told me recently that Intel and AMD represented the biggest threats to freedom of competition in the chip industry, not an NVIDIA alliance with Arm.

Qualcomm Inc, which has major facilities in Cambridge, along with global tech giants including Microsoft Corp and Google fear an NVIDIA-Arm powerhouse could limit the supply of technology to certain competitors or even hike prices.

The UK government is in the final stages of an inquiry on national security and competition grounds and will conclude its report at the end of July, says Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. The proposed deal is also being reviewed in the US, EU and China.

As Business Weekly reported last week, on top of the $40bn acquisition price, NVIDIA has pledged to spend hundreds of millions on ramping Cambridge’s technology capabilities across compute at the edge.

While nothing has officially been announced, Business Weekly understands the Cambridge-1 supercomputer will be launched within days. As we revealed in our last issue, this venture represents a minimum $100m investment from NVIDIA which the company said was just the start.

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