Nvidia admitted the regulatory process related to a proposed $40 billion acquisition of UK-based chip design company Arm was taking longer than expected, as it faces objections from licensees leading to a drawn-out process.

The deal is facing regulatory reviews in a number of different markets, in particular the UK which ordered its Competition and Markets Authority to prepare an assessment on whether the deal could be deemed anti-competitive.

Major US companies including Google and Microsoft have reportedly urged domestic politicians to kill the deal, while Nvidia only recently submitted a formal application with Chinese regulators, a process which could take up to 18 months alone.

Speaking during Nvidia’s Q2 earnings call, CFO Colette Kress said the company was working through the regulatory process, “although some Arm licensees have expressed concerns and objected to the transaction, and discussions with regulators are taking longer than initially thought”.

“We are confident in the deal and that regulators should recognise the benefits of the acquisition to Arm, its licensees and the industry.”

When announcing the deal, Nvidia explained it expected to complete within 18 months, putting it on track to close in March 2022.

However CEO Jensen Huang followed up Kress’ comments by telling Financial Times the lengthy regulatory process was “pushing out the timetable”.

He added its agreement with Arm-owner SoftBank Group to complete the deal gave it until the end 2022, and it was hopeful of winning clearance by then.