The ARM co-founder is not happy with Nvidia’s takeover of the company he created: after issuing warnings in August, Hermann Hauser spends the second by launching a petition to urge the British government to block the sale of the national semiconductor flagship to the American company Nvidia.
Although an Austrian citizen by birth, Hermann Hauser is one of the highest figures of “Silicon Fen”, the miniature equivalent of the Silicon Valley that developed around Cambridge. Knight of the Order of the British Empire, a member of the Royal Society and with a horde of business start-ups and other local charities to his credit, Hermann Hauser is a figure heard by all across the Channel.
The redemption, he already predicted last August “a disaster”. Not for Nvidia, but for ARM. Pointing in the petition to previous takeovers of British companies by Americans (Cadbury by Kraft), Mr Hauser predicted that ARM’s “ will lead to the loss of UK jobs and influence In the management of ARM. And to add that this takeover jeopardizes ARM’s business model which is to be ” Switzerland of the semiconductor industry by managing more than 500 licensees on an equal basis (of the license) ”.
But no doubt aware that these arguments weigh very little in the face of a ticket of 40 billion dollars, Mr. Hauser ends with the only weapon powerful enough to move a government in these times of economic war: sovereignty.
Recalling ARM’s dominant position in the smartphone industry, Mr. Hauser’s petition warns of GAFAM, the US / China battle, Mr. Trump’s martial use of US technological dominance. And to specify that in the event that ARM becomes American, it would then have to comply with the country’s export regulations (OFAC Regulations, laws that now prevent many American companies from doing business with Huawei, ndr). Even though jobs would be partly preserved, “ the decision of who ARM is allowed to sell to would be made in the White House and no longer in Downing Street “.
Blocking the legal takeover – and what’s more to a Japanese fund – of ARM seems difficult for the current British government, already embroiled in Brexit, to achieve. Realizing this, the petition is less about derailing the sale than alerting the government. Arguing that “ handing over the most powerful weapon in British commerce to the US would turn the UK into a vassal of the US “, The petition adds that the deal can only lead to a satisfactory result by imposing very strict legal constraints.
- The legal obligation to maintain jobs in the UK.
- The legal obligation for Nvidia not to claim preferential treatment over ARM customers
- US must exempt UK to ensure UK businesses will always have access to their national processor technology (ARM, ed)
The other alternative addressed by the petition would be for the UK government to acquire equity in the company through a ” golden share “, A benchmark share that allows a minority shareholder in shares to have a right of veto.
It is impossible to know how Boris Johnson’s cabinet will react to this initiative. But one thing seems certain: It is not just the UK government that needs to start worrying about this deepening consolidation of US ultra dominance in semiconductors. After all, it was the ARM instructions that were chosen by the European Processor Initiative, a… sovereign European processor production project.
Source : Save ARM