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Last week it came to light that SoftBank may be trying to sell chipset design firm ARM, and according to a new report from Bloomberg, Nvidia could be interested. Citing the usual "people with knowledge," Nvidia has apparently approached ARM to court a deal with the Cambridge company.
Nothing has been confirmed, and it remains to be seen if ARM is even interested in Nvidia's offer, but it's one possible avenue for the company. Although rumors have swirled that Samsung or Apple might be interested, analysts doubt both possibilities for several key reasons, including the unusual scale of such an acquisition — and that's not to mention potential anti-competitive concerns. We should note Nvidia does have its own ARM-based products, including the chipset that powers the Nintendo Switch and Nvidia Shield devices. However, apart from a slight refresh, it hasn't released any new ARM chipsets in a while.
While we can think of worse choices, Nvidia is far from the ideal owner for ARM. We're not analysts, but if you ask us, the best possible solution is either another investment firm or a public option, should ARM be able to swing an IPO. Either way, with ARM's products being such an integral part of the mobile market, any acquisition should be the subject of intense scrutiny by regulators.
Bloomberg now reports that Nvidia is in "advanced talks" to acquire Arm Ltd, with the two companies aiming to reach a deal in the next few weeks. Nvidia is supposedly the only company in concrete discussions with SoftBank, which seems surprising given the scope of the sale.
No final decisions have been made, according to sources familiar with the matter, and it's still possible that the deal could drag on or fall apart entirely.