The EU Gives Microsoft’s Acquisition Of Nuance A Clean Bill Of Health

In April, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Nuance, an artificial intelligence and speech technology company for $19.7 billion. The deal, since it was announced has been subject to the approval of regulators. Regulators have been worried about the deal inciting lesser competition in the market and giving Microsoft an edge over other rivals in the market.

Despite all the concerns that regulators have about the deal, the European Union’s competition regulator has given Microsoft the go-ahead for its acquisition of Nuance. According to the regulator, after a series of investigations, it came to the conclusion that there are no competition concerns for the region if the acquisition is allowed to push through. The deal was, therefore, cleared without conditions.

While the EU has given its approval concerning the Microsoft-Nuance deal, other regulators such as the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has just begun their investigations over their concerns regarding the deal. According to the UK 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.

The conclusion of the EU’s investigation which investigated horizontal overlaps between Nuance and Microsoft in the transcription software market was that, individually the two companies offer different products and when combined, they’d continue to face strong competition from other rivals. Therefore, the deal was not a threat in any way to both rivals and the market.

After analyzing the vertical link between Microsoft’s cloud computing services and Nuance’s downstream transcription software for healthcare, the EU concluded that transcription service providers in the sector do not depend on Microsoft cloud computing service or are they primary users of cloud computing services, and as such, the deal could be completed.

The Microsoft-Nuance deal has received its clean bill of health from the EU and is one step closer to being completed. A press release by the EU read “The Commission concluded that Nuance can use this data only to provide its services. It is not used by any other company and cannot be used for any other purpose due to contractual restrictions and data protection legislation”.

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