Microsoft Reportedly in Talks to Acquire Speech Recognition Giant Nuance Communications
Microsoft is reportedly involved in advanced discussions to acquire the AI and speech recognition-focused company Nuance Communications Inc.
The deal, which comes by way of Bloomberg, is said to be valued at an estimated $16 billion. Sources told Bloomberg that the proposed price valued Nuance Communications at $56 per share, resulting in a 23% premium as of Friday. It’s also been said that an agreement could be announced as early as sometime this week. However, there is no guarantee that the agreement will go through.
The deal, if accepted, would result in Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition to date. In 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Recently, Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media for its Xbox division for $7.5 billion. Additionally, there have been reports that Microsoft has been discussing a possible acquisition of Discord, the popular video call and communication platform.
In the past, Microsoft and Nuance Communication have collaborated on Cloud for Healthcare and other projects to assist doctors in their field. There has been no clear indication as to what is fueling Microsoft’s intention of acquiring Nuance. However, given that the company is entangled in both AI and health care industries, Microsoft may see this as a way to bolster its presence in these fields.
Microsoft may seek to incorporate Nuance’s Dragon voice dictation software and other AI tools into its products. Microsoft has also been opening up its doors into healthcare, with the introduction of cloud-based software being offered to doctors and hospitals.