Microsoft to acquire US voice recognition giant for 16 billion US dollars

Bloomberg News reported on the 11th that Microsoft is in talks to acquire Nuance Communications, a major voice recognition technology company. The purchase price is expected to be about 16 billion US dollars. It seems that the aim is to strengthen the field of voice artificial intelligence (AI), which is fiercely competing with Google and others.

Nuance is a long-established voice recognition service that uses AI, and is said to have supplied basic technology to Apple’s voice assistant function “Siri.” Voice AI is becoming more important as a new interface (contact point) between humans and computers, and major US IT (information technology) companies such as are focusing on development.

Nuance, the acquisition target, is based on a company that was spun off from Xerox, a major US multifunction device company, in 1992, and is headquartered in Massachusetts in the eastern United States. As of the end of September 2020, the number of employees is about 7,100.

In addition to selling services such as transcription and voiceprint authentication to medical institutions and call centers, it has had a tie-up with Microsoft for the application of voice recognition technology to the field of telemedicine.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft’s purchase price is expected to be around $56 per Nuance share, with a 23% premium over the closing price last weekend.

The deal is expected to be agreed upon within the week, but negotiations are ongoing and may break down. No comments have been received from both companies.

Microsoft’s M & A (merger/acquisition) surpassed Skype Global (Luxembourg, acquisition amount of about 8.5 billion US dollars) in 2011, and the business SNS (exchange site) LinkedIn (262) announced in 2016 It may be the second largest in the past after (100 million dollars).

US Congress and antitrust authorities are increasingly monitoring whether US IT (information technology) such as Facebook and Google are hindering competition through M & A. However, Microsoft hasn’t been investigated so far, and it’s still aggressively acquiring companies.

In particular, we are focusing on attracting intellectual property and human resources through M & A in the three fields of AI, open-source development, and games.

As an example of the open-source development field, it announced that it will acquire the US source code sharing service GitHub for $ 7.5 billion in 2018.

In the game field, in 2009, it completed the procedure to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, which handles popular games such as “Fallout”, for 7.5 billion dollars.

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