Microsoft receives ‘green signal’ to acquire Siri co-developer: US Antitrust authorities grant quick approval to $16 Billion acquisition deal?

Microsoft Nuance Communications Acquisition
One of the quickest go-ahead for a multi-billion-dollar acquisition? Pic credit: Compfight/Flick

The U.S. Antitrust authorities have granted their approval to a deal that involves Microsoft acquiring the co-developers of Apple Inc. virtual assistant Siri. This seems to be one of the shortest times in which U.S officials gave their go-ahead to a deal.

Microsoft had recently indicated it was acquiring Nuance Communications in an all-cash transaction. While analysts predicted the Windows 10 OS maker would shell out $19.7 Billion, the deal is approximately costing $16 Billion.

Microsoft greenlit to acquire Siri co-developer Nuance Communications for $16 Billion:

The U.S. Antitrust has granted its approval for the Nuance Communications acquisition deal. Nuance specializes in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital or virtual speech technology.

Microsoft will reportedly shell out $16 Billion to acquire Nuance Communications. Needless to mention, Microsoft quickly received the regulatory approval to take over the Siri co-developer.

Incidentally, the US Antitrust agency has not decided to further examine the takeover. Nuance indicated that the deadline for the U.S. government to object to the deal was June 1.

As the deadline has passed, and no objection raised, the deal was automatically greenlit. A Microsoft spokesman, however, has cautiously added that “other jurisdictions” would officially examine the deal.

Microsoft expects to completely close the deal before the current year ends. The deal materialized after the companies entered into a strategic partnership in 2019. The primary agenda behind the deal was to automate healthcare administrative work such as documentation.

Is Microsoft betting big on AI-driven digital and automated healthcare?

Moving ahead, Nuance Communications and its entire product portfolio will now be a part of Microsoft. Nuance’s products mainly revolve around AI-driven digital healthcare.

Incidentally, all of Nuance’s digital products reside and function on Azure cloud services. In other words, Microsoft already powers Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One, and PowerScribe One.

Reports indicate about 55 percent of physicians and 75 percent of radiologists actively rely on Nuance’s healthcare-focused products. Additionally, Nuance offers solutions in the field of AI and customer engagement.

With Nuance and its product bouquet, Microsoft gets a quick, firm, and large foothold in the healthcare sector. Moreover, with Nuance’s products already working on Azure, there should not be many technical challenges.

Microsoft’s own experiments with a virtual assistant haven’t been successful. Simply put, Cortana is not a household name like Siri. On the other hand, Nuance claims to have helped in developing Apple’s powerful and widely used virtual assistant.

Nuance will be Microsoft’s second-largest, or second most expensive, acquisition. The company had acquired LinkedIn in 2016 for about $24 Billion.

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