NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 TiSource: NVIDIA

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA's ARM acquisition has been in the works since late 2020.
  • Numerous regulatory hurdles have cropped up since then, stalling the acquisition's progress.
  • Now that the obstacle of European summer vacation has been overcome, an EU regulatory probe is the next complication NVIDIA will have to manage.

NVIDIA's ARM acquisition cannot seem to catch a break, based on the long series of setbacks and delays that have beleaguered it since it came into being in late 2020. Regulators from many countries and regions, ranging from China and the U.S. to the UK and EU, have all had a hand in slowing proceedings to a crawl, thereby forcing NVIDIA to reconsider its timeline for the deal. And now, after the tech company overcame the hurdle of waiting out European summer vacation, it has to deal with the EU's next curveball: Antitrust regulators entering full-on probe mode.

As reported by Reuters, the European Commission has now declared it's doing a full investigation to determine whether NVIDIA acquiring ARM would unfairly harm the operations of other industries and rival companies such as Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung. For its part, NVIDIA says no such thing would happen and that ARM would remain agnostic even under the green team's ownership, not creating unfair biases in the marketplace. But, as evidenced by the probe, regulators are not taking NVIDIA at its word.

It's reported that the European Commission will make its decision by March 15, 2022. Britain is also giving the acquisition a hard lookover, with its competition agency probing the attempted purchase as well.

Between these probes and the pending wildcard of what China will decide on the matter, the light at the end of the acquisition tunnel may still be far off. And the deal could crumble altogether if further delays and complications appear.