On Monday, British antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced its intention to investigate Microsoft’s acquisition of artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications Inc. for $16 billion.
According to the regulator which has been on its toes stepping up its regulation of big tech companies, the investigation was to come to a conclusion if the Microsoft-Nuance deal would result in lesser competition in the UK market.
In April this year, Microsoft Inc. announced its intention to acquire Nuance Communications Inc. to boost its presence in cloud services. The deal has already received regulatory approval in the US and Australia. The deal which will be Microsoft’s largest after its purchase of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion was set to secure unconditional antitrust approval from the EU.
Nuance Communications is an American multinational computer software technology corporation. It has its headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts. Nuance Communications provides speech recognition technology as well as Artificial Intelligence. The company was founded 29 years ago in 1992 and was first called Visioneer. It merged with ScanSoft which was its competitor in the commercial large-scale speech application business in October of 2005.
Since Microsoft announced that it will buy Nuance Communications for $16 billion or $56 per share and a 22 percent increase over the previous closing price, there have been quite a lot of questions that need to be answered by either Microsoft or Nuance Communications.
According to reports and a few sources Microsoft has also been in preliminary talks with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ahead of a formal request for approval of the Nuance deal.
In October, Microsoft announced that it will pull out its professional social network LinkedIn from the Chinese market before the year’s end. The decision follows a number of regulatory changes and actions from regulators in the country which have put tech companies, both local and foreign, in tight spots. In that same month, Microsoft announced its acquisition of software service company Ally.io at an undisclosed amount. Ally.io assists companies with analytics to measure their progress against Objectives and Key Results (OKR) which is a common method that companies use to measure both individual and company progress.
Microsoft and Nuance are yet to respond to requests for comment concerning the antitrust regulator to investigate the deal.