Labour says an Nvidia acquisition of Arm could put UK jobs at risk

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband calls for an expansion to the Enterprise Act 2002

The Labour Party has called for "legally binding assurances" that UK jobs will be protected should Nvidia acquire Cambridge-based chipmaker Arm.

Shadow business secretary Ed Milliband has warned the government that the potential deal could see Arm's headquarters moved out of Cambridge, according to The Guardian.

It was widely reported in July that Nvidia was interested in taking over Arm, with a deal estimated to be worth over $32 billion (£25 billion). Nvidia believes the acquisition could help it compete with the likes of Intel – particularly as it looks to move into the data centre chip market.

Arm is arguably the UK's most valuable tech company, with its chips used in most mobile phones and computers. The company has around 3,000 employees in the UK and is a major supplier to tech firms like Apple, which recently announced its Mac computers would ditch Intel for Arm architecture.

Japanese investment group Softbank brought Arm in 2016, a deal that was struck with stipulations that jobs would not be moved out of the UK. Miliband has said similar conditions should be imposed if Nvidia proceed with an offer.

"Arm is a major British success story, but the government is doing nothing in the face of the risk of the company being swallowed up by Nvidia," Miliband said. "If the government truly believes in an active industrial policy, it cannot be right that they are ignoring the potential consequences of this takeover - including the possible implications for where the company is headquartered and the thousands of jobs in Britain that depend on it."

Miliband also suggested the government should expand the Enterprise Act 2002, the legislation that protects mergers and acquisitions, to include a public interest test if any acquisition has potential long-term implications for the country's industrial strategy.

"While proposed acquisitions are primarily a commercial matter for the parties concerned, the government monitors these closely," a government spokesman said. "Where we feel a takeover may represent a threat to the UK, the government will not hesitate to investigate the matter further, which could lead to conditions on the deal."

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