$ 16 billion Microsoft / Nuance deal to get EU approval


Microsoft is expected to receive the green light from EU antitrust regulators for its $ 16 billion purchase of artificial intelligence (AI) and voice technology company Nuance Communications.

As Reuters reported on Friday, December 10, sources familiar with the matter say the deal will receive unconditional approval.

The news comes just three days after a report that the European Commission’s competition office was to ask customers and competitors of the two companies to fill out questionnaires detailing their concerns about the deal.

Read more: Microsoft’s $ 16 billion Nuance deal under EU review

As Reuters notes, Microsoft’s planned acquisition of the company – which was first announced in April – follows a re-examination of “murderous acquisitions,” in which large tech companies buy out smaller firms ( and potential rivals) only to shut them down.

The acquisition stems from a previous Microsoft / Nuance collaboration on a healthcare administration automation project.

“Nuance delivers the AI ​​layer at the point of healthcare delivery and is a pioneer in the actual application of enterprise AI,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in April.

As PYMNTS noted at the time, this would be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition since the tech giant bought LinkedIn for $ 26 billion five years ago.

And while this deal may improve Microsoft’s place in the healthcare market and its AI offerings in terms of health, speed, and biometric security, there could be another factor at work.

Nuance has traditionally entered into an agreement with its customers to use their data to improve its speech recognition technology. Former Nuance employees say this could explain Microsoft’s interest in small business, as larger cloud providers typically can’t access customer data for research purposes.

The deal has gained approval from regulators in the United States and Australia, but has yet to be approved by the Competition Authority, the UK’s antitrust agency, according to Reuters. A spokesperson for the agency told the news service he was not speculating on which cases he would or would not investigate.

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