SoftBank is nearing a deal to sell its Arm Holdings to Nvidia, the world’s largest graphics chipmaker, reports The Wall Street Journal.
According to those familiar with the matter, a cash-and-stock deal between the two companies could occur early next week and would be valued at over $40 billion, which could potentially be the largest deal ever in the semiconductor industry. SoftBank initially acquired Arm for $32 billion four years ago.
The two companies have reportedly been in talks for weeks over a possible deal, and if completed, scrutiny may arise among antitrust regulars since Nvidia itself is currently a customer of Arm. Companies that utilize Arm technology would also not be in favor of a deal without explicit assurances that Arm’s instruction set will continue to be available for equal licensing opportunities.
SoftBank allegedly approached Apple to see if it was interested in the purchase of Arm, but Apple hadn’t planned to pursue a bid due to Arm’s licensing requirements and possible regulatory concerns.
Apple licenses technology from Arm for its A-series chips used in its iPhones and iPads, and the company is planning to transition to Arm-based chips in its Mac lineup later this year. A potential sale to Nvidia would not likely have a major impact on Apple or Apple’s licensing of Arm technology.