Microsoft has completed the acquisition of speech recognition software maker Nuance Communications, closing the $19.7 billion deal nearly a year after its announcement. After scrutiny from antitrust investigators in the U.K. and EU, as well as speedy approval from U.S. and Australian regulators, the completed deal is worth slightly less than Microsoft’s 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn ($26.2 billion). The corporation is still waiting to finalize its 2021 blockbuster purchase of Activision Blizzard for roughly $69 billion.
Founded by Ray Kurzweil, Nuance makes a popular dictation and transcription software that is used heavily in the healthcare sector, with doctors and other healthcare workers using it to transcribe patient notes. But Microsoft, with its ever-expanding hold on the cloud-based workplace experience, is expected to quickly deploy Nuance’s technology alongside other AI-enabled solutions for businesses across sectors, including financial services, retail, and telecommunications. Nuance Chief Executive Officer Mark Benjamin remains in charge of the company as it merges into the Microsoft landscape of technologies, retaining the autonomy to continue creating innovative AI-based tools.
The deal survived scrutiny by the European Commission’s competition bureau, which determined that it would not significantly hamper competition in the European market, as well as passing the stress test from the Competition and Markets Authority in the U.K.