The European Commission has given US semiconductor designer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) unconditional approval for its $35bn acquisition of chip company Xilinx.
It follows approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority as the deal looks set to pass without facing any regulatory pushback.
AMD’s acquisition of Xilinx is still awaiting approval from regulators in China. AMD first announced the deal in October last year and filed for approval with the European Commission in late May.
The Commission said it had not encountered any antitrust issues after its preliminary review.
“The proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area given the absence of horizontal overlaps and vertical relationships between the activities of the companies,” the EU competition enforcer said.
It marks a stark contrast to the fortunes of Nvidia, which faces antitrust challenges in multiple companies for its proposed $40bn acquisition of chip designer Arm.
”There were never going to be the high jinks over AMD’s $35bn acquisition of Xilinx that we’ve seen with Nvidia’s bold and controversial $40 billion bid for ARM. It’s no surprise it’s been approved by the regulators,” Michael Orme, thematic consultant at GlobalData, told Verdict.
Once passed, the deal could boost AMD’s chances of catching rival Intel in the chip data centre market. Intel has long been the dominant player but recently AMD has been gaining market share, forcing Intel to restructure its business in a bid to improve sales.
Xilinx, also an American company, supplies programmable logic devices. It was the first company to use the fabless model, in which a company designs chips but outsources the manufacturing process.
The company also invented the field-programmable gate array (FPGA), a type of integrated circuit that can be configured after it has been manufactured.
”With Xilinx re-programmable FPGA chips in its armoury, AMD presents even more formidable competition to Intel in the data centre market,” said Orme. “FPGAs are an essential component in any chipset fit to power today’s data centres, and hard-core opinion rates Xilinx technology higher than Intel’s.”