EU approves Microsoft’s purchase of Nuance (updated)

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Microsoft logoSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Updated December 21, 2021 at 11:04 AM: The EU has granted approval of Microsoft’s purchase of Nuance (via Reuters). The original story follows.

Microsoft’s $19.7 billion purchase of Nuance is set to clear yet another regulatory hurdle, according to a recent report. Reuters states that the European Union (EU) will grant unconditional approval for the deal. This would be a major step toward finalizing the deal, which has already been approved by the United States and Australia.

Nuance specializes in artificial intelligence (AI) and speech recognition. General consumers are likely familiar with the company’s Dragon speech recognition software. Nuance also helped create Apple’s digital assistant Siri. Speech tech from Nuance is used regularly in the medical industry as well. 77% of hospitals in the United States use Nuance tech, according to the company.

The $19.7 billion purchase of Nuance is Microsoft’s second-largest deal to date, only falling short of the $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016.

Microsoft and Nuance filed for approval from the European Commission’s competition bureau in November 2021. That body has until December 2021 to approve the deal or open a more in-depth investigation. Both the European Commission and Microsoft declined to comment to Reuters.

While the EU will reportedly approve the deal, the acquisition also has to be cleared by the UK’s antitrust agency. Microsoft is said to be in talks with this body.

The United States and Australia have already approved Microsoft’s purchase of Nuance.

A portion of Microsoft’s purchase — a little over $3 billion of it — covers Nuance’s debts, which brings the total value to $19.7 billion.

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