CMA Checks Out Microsoft’s £15bn Acquisition of Nuance Communications

Competition and Markets Authority starts its investigation. Deal has been cleared in US and Australia.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into Microsoft’s $19.7 billion (£14.8 billion) acquisition of Nuance Communications

Nuance is a Massachusetts-based provider of speech recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) software.

While the deal – first announced in April – has got approval in the US and Australia, the CMA has launched an inquiry and is inviting comments.

The regulator explains: “The CMA is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services.”

Nuance offers conversational AI and cloud-based “ambient clinical intelligence” for healthcare providers. Its products include the Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting, all clinical speech recognition SaaS offerings built on Microsoft Azure. It has a lot of action in the US, with its solutions used in 77% of hospitals.

Beyond healthcare, Nuance works in industries such as financial services, telecom, retail and government. Notable UK clients are TalkTalk and NatWest, while in Europe it has Swedbank and Deutsche Telekom.

As Microsoft announced in April, Mark Benjamin will remain CEO of Nuance, reporting to Scott Guthrie, EVP of Cloud & AI at Microsoft.

According to Microsoft, the acquisition will double its total addressable market (TAM) in the healthcare provider space, bringing the company’s TAM in healthcare to nearly $500 billion (£377 billion).

The CMA announcement today (13 December) is merely the first phase, but the watchdog has been busy of late – and full of varied decisions.

Last month the CMA told Meta to sell Giphy as the $400 million (£300 million) deal could harm social media users and UK advertisers.

In September, it cleared the $1 billion (£729 million) acquisition by Facebook of customer relationship management (CRM) platform Kustomer.

Meanwhile, the investigation into NVIDIA’s $40 billion (£29.1 billion) purchase of Arm from Japan’s SoftBank is still ongoing.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
Get the Free Newsletter
Subscribe to Techrepublic UK for weekly updates from Techrepublic and eWEEK on the latest in UK top tech news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter
Subscribe to Techrepublic UK for weekly updates from Techrepublic and eWEEK on the latest in UK top tech news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.

Popular Articles