Microsoft Swallows Up AI Speech Recognition Company to Boost Healthcare Business

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Jason Redmond/ Getty

Microsoft has announced that it will buy Nuance Communications in a deal worth $19 billion including debt. Nuance’s AI speech recognition technology is expected to be used to boost the software giant’s healthcare cloud products.

CNBC reports that Microsoft announced this week that it will buy speech recognition company Nuance Communications for $56 per share, around 23 percent above its closing price on Friday. The deal is worth around $19 billion including debt.

This is the latest example of Microsoft expanding its business in various areas. The company was recently said to be in talks to purchase the gaming-focused chat app Discord for around $10 billion. Last year, Microsoft made an attempt to purchase TikTok’s U.S. business for around $30 billion before the deal fell through.

The purchase of Nuance is Microsoft’s largest acquisition since it bought LinkedIn for more than $26 billion in 2016. Last month, Microsoft successfully purchased the gaming company Zenimax for $7.6 billion.

Shares of Nuance ended the trading day up by 15.95 percent on Monday while Microsoft shares increased slightly. Nuance would reportedly be considered part of Microsoft’s business serving other businesses and governments.

Nuance generates revenue by selling tools for recognizing and transcribing speech in healthcare offices, customer-service calls, and voicemails. Microsoft stated in its announcement that Nuance’s technology will be used to augment the company’s cloud products for healthcare, which the company launched last year.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC that Nuance’s health care tools were the key driver behind the acquisition, stating: “We’ve seen a massive acceleration of digital transformation… health care in particular. When you think about the provider market… digital tech is going to be the key.”

Nuance reported $7 million in net income on about $346 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020, with revenue declining by 4 percent on an annualized basis. Nuance was founded in 1992 and had 7,100 employees as of September.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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