IT professionals urge government to intervene in ARM sale

The majority of IT experts believe the government should step in over the sale of UK technology giant ARM.

A survey carried out by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, following the announcement that ARM Holdings is to be sold to American chip maker Nvidia in a deal worth £40 billion, found that 70 per cent of members believe the government should intervene in the deal - a measure it is actively considering under the Enterprise Act.

Only 11 per cent agreed that the sale of ARM to Nvidia would strengthen the UK’s position as a world leader in digital technologies, while 95 per cent said it was important for the UK to retain ownership and control of significant digital tech companies within its borders.

The comments captured with the poll suggest that the UK should control the ownership and destiny of strategically significant tech companies. BCS stated that this was not for idealistic or nationalistic reasons, but because keeping assets like ARM would cushion Britain from geo-political turmoil, protect jobs and secure intellectual property rights.

Paul Fletcher, chief executive of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said: “We recommend that strategic digital assets and significant technological intellectual property are considered more fully in the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

"In a post Brexit and COVID world the UK should be a beacon of technological innovation and leadership.”

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