Today it was announced that the Japanese company SoftBank has sold British chip developer Arm to American NVIDIA. Right after that, Arm co-founder Hermann Hauser called the deal a disaster that would destroy the company’s business model. Later, he also launched a public campaign “Save Arm” and wrote an open letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, trying to draw the attention of the authorities to the deal.
In an open letter to Boris Johnson, Mr. Hauser expressed “extreme concern” about NVIDIA’s purchase of Arm and how it will affect employment in the country, Arm’s business model, and the future of UK economic independence from the US and its interests. In parallel, Hauser launched a special website savearm.co.uk, hoping to thus receive public support, and also began collecting signatures from business representatives and others.
Hauser is seeking to get the attention of the UK government to block the deal, or at least create legally binding provisions that will save jobs and prevent NVIDIA from enjoying an advantage over other companies that Arm has partnered with. Hauser notes that after the purchase of Arm by a US entity, the company’s future activities will be subject to US export laws. This is one of the key points, since many of Arm’s partners are Chinese companies or enterprises that, in turn, do business in the Middle Kingdom.
Recall that when SoftBank acquired Arm four years ago, it pledged to retain the processor developer’s headquarters in the UK. Now it was announced that SoftBank will continue to fulfill its earlier obligations, which will expire in September 2021.
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