Microsoft Clears US Antitrust Hurdle For Nuance Purchase

Microsoft Clears US Antitrust Hurdle For Nuance Purchase

June 07, 2021 at 03:45AM

Microsoft has received U.S. antitrust approval to purchase the artificial intelligence and speech technology firm Nuance Communications for $16 billion.

As Reuters reported on Friday, the deal was first announced in April, springing from an earlier collaboration between the two companies on a healthcare administration automation project.

“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the time

“AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Nuance.”

Nuance said in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that the deadline for the government to protest the deal expired at the start of the month.

The passing of that deadline “satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the merger,” the company told the SEC in the filing.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters that the deal was intended to close at the end of this calendar year, and was in the midst of regulatory reviews in other jurisdictions.

As PYMNTS noted when the deal was first reported, Nuance represents Microsoft’s largest acquisition since the tech giant purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016. That isn’t to say the company has been thinking small. Microsoft devoted a lot of time in the summer of 2020 trying to buy TikTok, a deal that ultimately didn’t materialize.

Other recent expenditures include the $7.6 billion Microsoft spent buying the gaming company ZeniMax in March, while also holding talks with Discord to purchase the chat app for $10 billion, although Discord ultimately ended those discussions.