Japan’s SoftBank intends to sell Nvidia, a UK technology company, for around $ 40 billion (£ 29.5 billion).
But Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said he wanted the UK Competition Watchdog to assess its results.
“After careful analysis of the proposed acquisition, today I issued an intervention notice,” he said.
“As a next step and to help me gather relevant information, the UK’s independent competition authority will now produce a report on the implications of the transaction, which will help inform any future decisions.”
Arm’s technology is at the heart of most smartphones and smart devices worldwide.
But there were concerns when the Cambridge-based designer, who licensed his technology to companies such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei, accepted the offer from American graphics chip specialist Nvidia.
In January, the Competition and Markets Authority [Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)] Announced that the deal was studying amid concerns that it could overtake Arm, raise prices or reduce the quality of its services for Nvidia’s rivals.
Oliver Dowden has now ordered him to launch a “phase one” investigation, which will decide whether a full “phase two” investigation is necessary and could lead to the deal being blocked.
An Nvidia spokesperson said: “We do not believe there will be any national security problems in this transaction.”
“We will continue to work closely with the British authorities, as we have been doing since the announcement of this agreement.”
Leading Computing Company
Last year, more than 2,000 business leaders signed an open letter asking the prime minister to halt the merger, stating that jobs and influence could be lost in Britain.
Nvidia has promised to keep Arm in the UK, hire more staff and maintain its brand.
He said the deal would create “the leading computing company for the era of artificial intelligence”.
Nvidia may face hurdles from other regulators around the world.
China, in particular, has already made it clear that it is not happy with a deal that gives so much power to an American veteran, when the US is trying to deny Chinese companies access to chip technology.
The CMA will have until July 30 to send its findings to the Digital Secretariat.
Translated source material BBC News By Wesley Carrizo for Jorl Contabile