You've probably heard ARM mentioned a few times recently since Apple announced it was moving from Intel chips to its own Apple Silicon, which is based on the ARM architecture. Well there's a possibility that Apple could actually buy the company behind ARM - Arm Holdings - from the Japanese company that owns it - Softbank. 

Softbank, who acquired the UK chip designer Arm Holdings in 2016 for $32 billion, is said to be looking for a buyer for its subsidiary Arm Holdings. Arm's perceived value has increased since Apple's announcement that it is going to be making its own processors. The largest takeover in the ITC industry is therefore pending.

According to a Bloomberg report, Softbank has already contacted potential buyers - including Apple.

Apple looks like a natural fit for the acquisition because it already installs hundreds of millions of ARM-based chips in iPhone and iPad, and soon the Mac will also be equipped with these chips.

However, according to Bloomberg's sources, Apple has decided not to bid for ARM because it could run into antitrust problems as the owners of the ARM technologies used by its competitors.

A more likely buyer is Nvidia who Softbank is said to have identified as a candidate for the takeover. In partnership with Arm Holdings, Nvidia could become a major competitor to Intel and AMD, but Nvidia would also experience significant regulation from the antitrust authorities.

Find out more about Apple's plans to use Apple Silicon rather than Intel processors here.

This story appeared on Macwelt, translation by Karen Haslam.