LONDON—U.S. graphics chip maker Nvidia said it plans to buy UK-based Arm Holdings in a deal worth up to $40 billion, in a move that would create a global powerhouse in the industry. The deal, announced late on Sept. 13 by Nvidia and Arm’s parent company, Japan’s SoftBank, raises concerns about the independence of Arm, one of Europe’s most important tech companies. The vast majority of the world’s smartphones run on Arm’s chip designs and it’s a vital supplier for companies such as Apple and Samsung. It’s also an innovator in chip technology that can power artificial intelligence for connected devices such as medical sensors, known as the “internet of things.” The company’s business centers on designing chips and licensing the intellectual property to customers, rather than chip manufacturing, for which it relies on partners. Being owned by a U.S. company could mean Arm is exposed to U.S. government export …
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