In light of yesterday’s rumor that Apple was considering a mammoth $8 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings, which sent shares of ARM through the roof, company CEO Warren East told the Guardian today that the utility of such a deal would be minimal, if not downright pointless.
Exciting though it is to have the share price pushed up by these rumours, common sense tells us that our standard business model is an excellent way for technology companies to gain access to our technology. Nobody has to buy the company.
ARM of course licenses the designs for chips that can be found in just about any and every mobile product imaginable, including the iPhone and Apple’s line up of iPods. But given that Apple already has access to ARM’s designs, there really isn’t much for them to gain by purchasing the company. They could theoretically license ARM’s chip designs out themselves, but that’s not really Apple’s style. Some have speculated that Apple could refuse to license ARM’s chip designs to competitors, but given the regulatory implications of such a move, it’s extremely unlikely that Apple would go down that route.