Nuance, a speech recognition business, has been acquired by Microsoft for approximately $16 billion (roughly Rs. 1,22,280 crore).
Through Nuance's widely used medical dictation and transcription technologies, the transaction, which was announced last year, helps Microsoft gain a stronger foothold in hospitals and the health-care industry. After its $26 billion (approximately Rs. 1,98,706 crore) purchase of career networking site LinkedIn in 2016, this is Microsoft's second-largest acquisition.
When Apple's Siri digital voice assistant was first released on iPhones more than a decade ago, Nuance's artificial intelligence technology was used to power it. Since then, the Burlington, Massachusetts-based company has moved its focus to physicians and other niche applications for its Dragon voice recognition software.
Microsoft announced its purchase of the company in April 2021, but it hit a snag in December when British antitrust officials said they were investigating whether deal would result in a "significant decrease of competition" in the UK market. That agreement was cleared by the British agency on Wednesday.
Regulators in the European Union, which Britain will leave in 2020, independently approved the merger in December. Microsoft and Nuance "provide substantially distinct services," according to the EU's top antitrust body.
Regulators in the European Union, which Britain will leave in 2020, independently approved the merger in December. Microsoft and Nuance "provide quite distinct products," according to the EU's top antitrust body, and will continue to face robust competition in their respective marketplaces.
In January, Microsoft announced that it will spend almost $70 billion (roughly Rs. 5,11,000 crore) to acquire video game developer Activision Blizzard.
Nuance's CEO, Mark Benjamin, will continue to report to Scott Guthrie, the head of Microsoft's cloud computing and AI group.
Microsoft, situated in Redmond, Washington, saw its stock fall marginally on Friday as part of a broader market sell-off.