Unconditional antitrust approval was granted to software giant Microsoft by the European Commission on Tuesday for the acquisition of artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications for a $16 billion deal.
This acquisition is the largest for United States based Microsoft since its acquisition of the networking social media platform LinkedIn in 2016 for $26.2 billion.
This latest deal would help Microsoft to enhance its presence in the cloud services for healthcare.
Regulators in the United States and Australia have already approved the deal. There were reports earlier this month about the high possibility of the deal being approved by the EU.
The Commission had completed its investigation into the acquisition and its potential fallouts, the regulator said, and had come to a conclusion that the deal will not have any significant impact on reducing competition in the market of transcription software, cloud services, enterprise communication services, PC operating systems and other products.
“The proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns on any of the markets examined in the European Economic Area,” the Commission said.
About 77 per cent of hospitals in the United States are clients of the US-based Nuance and the company was a partner in the launch of Apple’s virtual assistant Siri.
A host of issues of the deal including the overlap between Microsoft and Nuance’s transcription software activities had been investigated by the Commission, following which it had come to a come to the conclusion that that they offered “very different products” that, when considered in combination, would continue to be strongly rivalled by similar services offered by other players in the market, the Commission said.
As more organisations integrate AI into their products and services, tech companies have increased their acquisitions of AI-focused firms.
(Adapted from NDTV.com)