“Following careful consideration of the proposed takeover of ARM, I have today issued an intervention notice on national security grounds,” states Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, “as a next step and to help me gather the relevant information, the UK’s independent competition authority will now prepare a report on the implications of the transaction, which will help inform any further decisions.”
“We want to support our thriving UK tech industry and welcome foreign investment, but it is appropriate that we properly consider the national security implications of a transaction like this,” added
Dowden has written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and asked it to start a phase one investigation which will look at jurisdictional, competition and national security issues.
The CMA had announced plans to launch a competition probe into the deal but hasn’t yet started on it. It has until the end of July to report.
Following the initial investigation, Dowden will decide whether to clear the transaction or require undertakings by the companies to remedy concerns.
Alternatively, he can refer the deal to an in-depth investigation for further scrutiny.
Microsoft, Google and others have objected to the takeover on the grounds that it will interfere with the neutrality of Arm’s business model.
The deal is also facing an in-depth investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission and the reaction of the China regulator is expected to be sceptical.