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EU Approves Nvidia's $6.9 Billion Acquisition Of Mellanox

'It ought to allow for a healthy research and development budget, so that they can stay ahead,' one Nvidia partner says of how its acquisition could impact interconnect vendor Mellanox.

Nvidia's proposed $6.9 billion acquisition of high-speed interconnect vendor Mellanox Technologies has been approved by the European Commission, clearing a major hurdle for the GPU powerhouse's ambitions to become a larger player in high-performance computing.

In a Thursday evening filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mellanox said the deal has “received unconditional clearance” from the European Union's regulatory body, meaning that it's now only awaiting approval from Chinese regulators.

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the companies mainly supply complementary products and they will not be able to leverage their respective positions into neighbouring markets,” the European Commission said in a press release published Friday.

The acquisition is already cleared in the U.S. after the waiting period under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 expired on May 23, according to Mellanox.

Last month, Nvidia said that while the deal could close by the end of the calendar year, as the chipmaker originally expected, it may not happen until early 2020 as it awaited regulatory approval.

[Related: 8 Things To Know About The $6.9B Nvidia-Mellanox Acquisition]

Nvidia views Mellanox as a critical component provider for future data centers, which the chipmaker has previously said "will be architected as giant compute engines with tens of thousands of compute nodes, designed holistically with interconnects for optimal performance."

Dominic Daninger, vice president of engineering at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based Nvidia partner and high-performance computing system builder, said once completed, Nvidia's acquisition of Mellanox will give the interconnect vendor a boost in resources for product innovation.

"It ought to allow for a healthy research and development budget, so that they can stay ahead," he said.

With the deal, Daninger said he expects Nvidia to create deeper integration between its data center GPUs and Mellanox's interconnect products, which is already happening in products like Nvidia's DGX deep learning server appliance.

"If you look at their DGX product, high-speed communications between nodes is fundamental to that data center approach," he said.

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