Microsoft's Nuance deal could face European rejection
Microsoft's Nuance deal could face European rejection

European Union antitrust authorities are investigating Microsoft's $19.7 billion acquisition of artificial intelligence and language technology company Nuance.

A Reuters poll last month showed that antitrust authorities require customers and competitors to state their concerns.

The previously unpublished announcement is the most comprehensive announcement from antitrust authorities since the acquisition of the company in April.

After minimal scrutiny, the US Department of Justice and the Australian Competition Commission said in October that they would not reject the deal.

The two companies applied for approval from the European Commission's Competition Office last month, and regulators are expected to approve the deal or open a wider investigation by December 21.

The two companies should close the deal initially this year. But they said last month that the schedule could be pushed back to early next year.

The survey asked whether Microsoft and Nuance are competitors and whether the association could influence customers and competitors, including whether Microsoft might prefer Nuance over competing services.

The transcription technology sold by Nuance is popular with clinicians and call centers who want to take notes automatically.

Nuance is best known for its Dragon software, which uses deep learning to transcribe speech and improves its accuracy by adapting to a user's voice over time.

Analysts believe that this deal will enhance Microsoft's influence in the health care market. It brings new voice and medical data to AI products in the areas of health, language, and biometric security.

Europe wants to comment on the deal with Microsoft

Like other big technology companies, Microsoft has been building its business for many years through acquisitions such as advertising and video games.

But over the past decade, Microsoft has shied away from investigating rivals such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. All of these companies face antitrust lawsuits and investigations in many cases.

A potential pending transaction concern is Microsoft's enforcement of Office suites on Nuance customers by combining them. Nuance provides services to approximately 77% of US hospitals.

One of the keys to its success is that it can develop a speech recognition system that uses data from customer transactions.

Nuance's contract with Augusta University Medical Center states that Nuance must provide access to voice and text data. You grant Nuance a perpetual, royalty-free license to copy, use, and analyze this data for speech recognition research.

Cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft often don't have unfettered access to customer data for research and development. But the ability to maintain those relationships and data shows the software giant's interest in Nuance.

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