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ARM Co-Founder Starts 'Save Arm' Campaign To Keep Independence Amid $40 Billion Nvidia Deal

Published by Slashdot on Tue, 15 Sep 2020

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Arm Holdings, the U.K. semiconductor company, made history for the second time today, becoming the country's biggest tech exit when Nvidia announced over the weekend that it would buy it from SoftBank for $40 billion in an all-stock deal. (Arm's first appearance in the record books' When SoftBank announced in 2016 that it would acquire the company for $32 billion.) But before you can say advanced reduced instruction set computing machine, the deal has hit a minor hitch. One of Arm's co-founders has started a campaign to get the U.K. to interfere in the deal, or else call it off and opt for a public listing backed by the government. Hermann Hauser, who started the company in 1990 along with a host of others as a spin-out of Acorn Computers, has penned an open letter to the U.K.'s Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which he says that he is "extremely concerned" about the deal and how it will impact jobs in the country, Arm's business model and the future of the country's economic sovereignty independent of the U.S. and U.S. interests. Hauser has also created a site to gather public support -- savearm.co.uk -- and to that end has also started to collect signatures from business figures and others. He's calling on the government to intervene, or to at least create legally binding provisions, tied to passing the deal to guarantee jobs, create a way to enforce Nvidia not getting preferential treatment over other licensees and secure an exemption from CFIUS regulation "so that U.K. companies are guaranteed unfettered access to our own microprocessor technology." "This puts Britain in the invidious position that the decision about who ARM is allowed to sell to will be made in the White House and not in Downing Street," he writes. "Sovereignty used to be mainly a geographic issue, but now economic sovereignty is equally important. Surrendering UK's most powerful trade weapon to the US is making Britain a US vassal state." Meanwhile, Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jensen Huang said: "This will drive innovation for customers of both companies," adding that Nvidia "will maintain Arm's open licensing model and customer neutrality... We love Arm's business model. In fact, we intend to expand Arm's licensing portfolio with access to Nvidia's technology. Both our ecosystems will be enriched by this combination." Hauser responded by saying: "Do not believe any statements which are not legally binding."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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