Microsoft finishes $19.7B acquisition of Nuance
After an almost year-long buyout process, Microsoft has completed the acquisition of Nuance, folding the latter’s voice biometrics and conversational AI capabilities into its portfolio.
The $19.7 billion acquisition had to pass several regulatory roadblocks since it was revealed in April 2020. The EU held up the acquisition in December 2021, after receiving permission from U.S. and Australian regulatory bodies prior. Though the EU would eventually give the green light for the deal in the same month. It is the second-largest acquisition by Microsoft, only behind the $27 billion buyout of LinkedIn in 2016.
Microsoft sought to buy Nuance to expand its software and services line further into government and businesses such as healthcare, financial services, retail and telecommunications. The tech giant states that customers will benefit from better user experiences and enhanced personalization, leading to improved productivity and financial performance.
Healthcare is a particular focus of the deal, with a Microsoft suggesting that merging Nuance’s voice biometrics into the companies’ combined offerings can help reduce clinician burnout while enhancing early detection and treatment of diseases. The financial services, retail, and telecommunications industries can benefit from personalized customer experiences and support for employee productivity, the company adds.
“Combining the power of Nuance’s deep vertical expertise and proven business outcomes across healthcare, financial services, retail, telecommunications and other industries with Microsoft’s global cloud ecosystems will enable us to accelerate our innovation and deploy our solutions more quickly, more seamlessly and at greater scale to solve our customers’ most pressing challenges,” says Mark Benjamin, CEO of Nuance. “As Microsoft and Nuance come together as one organization, we are excited about the opportunities ahead for our technology, employees, customers and partners.”
The press release states that Benjamin will remain CEO of Nuance and report to Microsoft Cloud + AI group executive vice president Scott Guthrie.