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SoftBank Completes $31 Billion Acquisition of ARM (theverge.com) 65

Roughly two months later, SoftBank announced today that it has completed its $31 billion acquisition of British chip designer ARM Holdings. The Verge reports: "SoftBank's purchase of ARM is the latest in a line of acquisitions in recent years for the Japanese company, including the $20 billion Sprint acquisition, and a $15 billion investment in Vodafone's Japanese division. ARM is well known for designing chips and licensing them to companies like Apple and Samsung, and ARM-designed chips dominate mobile computing in phones and tablets. 15 billion ARM-designed chips shipped last year alone, and around half of those were in mobile devices. SoftBank is expected to use the ARM deal to bolster its Internet of Things plans."
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SoftBank Completes $31 Billion Acquisition of ARM

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  • I wish we'd tax these mega corps more. Ever since the 50's we started dropping the tax rates on the 1%. They've got all the money now and nothing better to do with it besides buy up every company in existence. It makes me laugh when people think a boycott has the slightest difference. Gonna buy from company A instead of B? Go ahead. After 50 years of giving all the money in the world to 1% of the population they own literally everything.
    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @08:11PM (#52831719)

      Given the 1% pay far more taxes than corporations do, I'm not sure what your rant is getting at. And given they earn 19% of the country's AGI while playing 37% of the country's income taxes, I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind saying that it's unfair, nor do I quite understand why some people write books akin to mein kampf about how much they're perceived to be ruining humanity.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05, 2016 @08:36PM (#52831791)

        He's saying that the wealth disparity is harmful, and giving too much power to too little people is not ideal. If you don't understand that, you might want to read up on the economic issues of the early US. Better yet, you might want to study history at any time, and any place.

        • He's saying that the wealth disparity is harmful, and giving too much power to too little people is not ideal. If you don't understand that, you might want to read up on the economic issues of the early US. Better yet, you might want to study history at any time, and any place.

          Well let's look at history then. The corporations in the era you speak of had the power to wage war, jail and execute people who didn't pay their debts, and the most wealthy corporation to ever exist was worth 8 trillion dollars in today's money at its peak in 1637, which basically rivals today's US government. We haven't seen any corporations anywhere even closely being that powerful or wealthy in over two centuries.

          The world's most powerful and wealthy people today pale in comparison to that as well. The

          • by Anonymous Coward

            And in spite of all of that, we're somehow in the worst of times?

            Nobody in this thread said this, which makes your post mostly about a strawman.

          • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

            And in spite of all of that, we're somehow in the worst of times?

            Considering we're quite likely to wipe out 99% of life on this planet including ourselves then yes, + the 1% are very bad custodians.

            • by Bongo ( 13261 )

              A lot of things can be said to be "quite likely" yet only exist in people's imaginations.

              I'm sure you have a lot of reasons for saying what you say, but much of what circulates in culture is just stories with little basis in evidence. And that's why politicians are masters of spin, because if people really did have a good grasp of what's really real, there would be no spin, they would all have to just talk about evidence. But people operate with beliefs and stories and ideas and we have very powerful imagin

              • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

                Quite likely based upon history and science we're accidifying the ocean and dangerously heating the planet, the heating will feedback loop, methane containing permafrosts are melting, ocean calthrates might be released. The result of all this could easily be our extinction.

          • Two centuries? A bloody fruit company had overthrown a government of a country only a century ago, and in 1954 another fruit company overthrew a government of yet another country, paying the US government for the training of their mercenaries.
            Even the Iraq war was very much caused by corporation interests, but only Poland has been honest about this.

            • And in 2016 a fruit company is the biggest in the world. (Which coincidentally co-founded ARM back in 1990.)

            • A fruit company didn't overthrow anything, rather they bought out already corrupt politicians in those regions, forming so called banana republics. This is a much different thing than a corporation having its own military and executing its own invasion.

              I'd mention that such a thing hasn't happened in a long time, but I won't bother because I'll get a ton of AC conspiracy theories from people who read too many cyberpunk novels, using terms like "megacorps" intermittently.

              • You are very much misinformed. Both fruit companies hired actual mercenaries to overthrow the respective governments. That has nothing to do with buying politicians. And today companies still hire mercenaries, this has nothing to do with cyberpunk.

    • And yet come November you'll be voting for the ultimate 1%er.

      How funny!

  • The interesting bit will be if they have a long term investment strategy.

    Chip Design and sales are multi year and do they have the ability....

    little sad that ARM are removed from the FTSE

    John Jones

     

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If Britain loses open access to the EU, how long do you think SoftBank will stay in the UK? SoftBank had made noises about doubling the ARM workforce in the UK in the years after purchase. But with the uncertainty of Brexit, they might want to open a second branch on the Continent where they can maintain EU access.

    • If Britain loses open access to the EU, how long do you think SoftBank will stay in the UK? SoftBank had made noises about doubling the ARM workforce in the UK in the years after purchase. But with the uncertainty of Brexit, they might want to open a second branch on the Continent where they can maintain EU access.

      Most of ARM's business is done with the far east and States, Samsung, Apple, Qualcomm, etc. ARM was one of the few companies shares that was not hit by the result of the referendum. Now if you want to talk employee access, then that might be more of an issue if a full EU split happens, but trade itself for them is probably not going to be particularly affected.

    • Brexit doesn't exist. So they voted to exit the EU. What does that even mean? They can still do all the things that being in the EU means. I mean they can still allow the same or even more immigrants, they can still have zero tariffs on EU goods. Brexit is meaningless.

      I mean, here is an analogy ..you can get married, move in with your spouse .. Get her to make you sandwiches or whatever. Then, a year later you can get divorced. But just because you are divorced doesn't mean you can't live with her and nothi

      • Of course there is the potential that nothing will change - we could exit the EU but retain access to the common market, which means we would still be on the hook for membership fees, unlimited EU migration etc....

        You know what would happen if that were the case? The government would lose the next general election. Badly. The sentiment of those who voted for Leave is pretty clear - they don't want unlimited migration (which is a requirement of membership now) etc. Usurp that sentiment and the electorate

  • Man, I've read to much Niven - without context, my first thought was ARM = The Amalgamated Regional Militia, from the Gil "The ARM" Hamilton stories that pre-date Ringworld.
  • Tinkering with microcontrollers and small ARM devices is fun and all but I've yet to see any products come along that were half as interesting as my own creations, which are satisfying in no small part due to the thought and effort that goes into creating them. IoT ends up feeling like a concept fishing for users. Sure plenty of people can be fooled into thinking they needed wifi lightbulbs after the fact but how many are really ever starting out thinking, gee I wish my Device X could receive commands from
    • by adolf ( 21054 )

      I've still got a 386SLC laptop around somewhere which is destined to be an NTP wallclock.

      But meh. Until the "IoT" stops having compatibility issues, it's no good. It needs to be at least as reliable as MIDI and DMX between brands, instead of the cacophony of not-standards that manufacturers present today.

      Do I want a house full of connected lightbulbs? Yes -- yes, I do! Not so much so that they can light up only the rooms that I am in (dumb LEDs are already crazy-efficient-enough that turning off lights

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @09:31PM (#52832029)
    You have a company that evidently doesn't know jack shit about technology, buying the #1 technology disrupter in a generation. Softbank knows how to make money in the short term, which is at complete odds of growing a standard to make money long term.
  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @11:39PM (#52832539)

    How they gonna get back 31 billion? Since 1 in 7 people will buy a smart phone or gadget every 2 years. That means they gotta get $30 from every smartphone owner just to cover their cost? That's F'd up to say the least. If they increase the cost of an ARM license even slightly it means the smartphone will cost dramatically higher because of the increase in risk capital needed. Basically this deal is terrible for the consumer and probably SoftBank too.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How they gonna get back 31 billion? Since 1 in 7 people will buy a smart phone or gadget every 2 years. That means they gotta get $30 from every smartphone owner just to cover their cost? That's F'd up to say the least. If they increase the cost of an ARM license even slightly it means the smartphone will cost dramatically higher because of the increase in risk capital needed. Basically this deal is terrible for the consumer and probably SoftBank too.

      Its almost certain to say that any device that isnt a PC that needs a processor has an ARM based processor in it. O/C this means the first order of business will be for softbank to jack up prices. ARM for all it's success only pulled in a few hundred million a year from recollection.

      • AMD's new x86 Zen CPUs contain an ARM based coprocessor.

        Zen added the support for AMD's Secure Memory Encryption (SME) and AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). Secure Memory Encryption is real time memory encryption done per page table entry. This is done utilizing the onboard "Security" Processor (ARM Cortex-A5) at boot time to encrypt each page, allowing any DDR-4 memory (including nonvolatile varieties) to be encrypted. AMD SME also makes the contents of the memory more resistant to memory snooping and cold boot attacks.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Then there are the new ARM-based Opterons.
        http://www.amd.com/en-us/produ... [amd.com]

    • Do they actually need to make in profits the amount paid to buy it? Why ? That's a lot of disk to sell in the dell emc buy out

    • How they gonna get back 31 billion? Since 1 in 7 people will buy a smart phone or gadget every 2 years.

      ARM processors are used in many devices and not just smart phones. ARM processors range from smartphones to ultra-low power embedded electronics like routers, cars, medical devices, etc.

    • by nazsco ( 695026 )

      ARM is destroying intel in every front on mobile and the predictions for mid to long term are even better for ARM.

      this might be Intel doing what microsoft did on the 90s with their competitors

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems to me that this acquisition is harmful to everyone. ARM should not be owned by anyone any more than Intel or AMD. To do otherwise would present a monopoly on chip technology that could be hamstrung by "the corporate meddlers"

    Sure Alpha, MIPS, RISC/PPC/Power, SPARC and such other designs may still exist, and are still alternatives should Softback decide to screw everyone who has licensed ARM tech in the future, but these chips aren't popular because they are expensive and single-source. x86 is not s

  • by rklrkl ( 554527 ) on Tuesday September 06, 2016 @01:37AM (#52832827) Homepage

    ARM was a shining light of the the UK tech industry - its clever strategy of licensing its designs without manufacturing them made it a stellar company. Now it's been sold off to a Japanese company-swallowing mega-corporation, so is there a UK-owned equivalent to ARM left in the tech industry? It's a sad say, even if Softbank overpaid somewhat.

    • by myrrdyn ( 562078 )

      is there a UK-owned equivalent to ARM left in the tech industry?

      Imagination Technologies, developer of PowerVR GPUs and owner of MIPS

  • If you do a search with "Softbank Microsoft" you will quickly realize that Softbank is in a very close relation with Microsoft.
    I hope to be false, but I am afraid that the ability to install a free Linux on any ARM devices will be a thing of the past in less than 10 years.
     

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