Microsoft is said to be in talks to take over AI company Nuance Communications for $ 16 billion

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Illustration from article titled Microsoft Reportedly in Talks to Take Over $ 16 Billion AI Firm Nuance Communications

photo: Jeenah Moon (Getty Images)

Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire Nuance Communications, an artificial intelligence company whose speech recognition technology has helped develop Apple’s Siri Virtual Assistant, for up to $ 16 billion, said a source familiar with the matter Reuters.

The price of the deal being negotiated could value Nuance at around $ 56 per share, the source said, roughly 23% premium from the closing share price on Friday. They added that an official announcement could be made as early as Monday.

A source who spoke with Bloomberg, who first reported News of a potential deal on Sunday said negotiations were still ongoing and warned they could still collapse.

While not exactly a household name, Nuance’s artificial intelligence and speech recognition software is used in many industries, from healthcare to automotive, and has helped lay the groundwork. of the technology that powers Apple’s voice assistant.

Neither Microsoft nor Nuance have publicly confirmed these discussions, so it’s best to take all of this with a grain of salt for now. However, the two companies have a bit of a history of collaboration. In 2019, Microsoft ad working with Nuance to develop technology that allows physicians to record conversations with their patients during visits and automatically relay this information to electronic medical records.

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“Partnering with Microsoft will accelerate our ability to tackle the most pressing healthcare challenges together,” Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin said at the time. “The ambient technologies that we will jointly offer can improve productivity and job satisfaction, while allowing physicians to focus on what they do best – caring for patients.”

Rumor has it that Microsoft is spending a bit right now. He also reportedly ogled the gaming-focused chat platform Discord for over $ 10 billion just months after taking over the video game holding company Médias ZeniMax. If this Nuance deal goes through, it would be one of Microsoft’s biggest acquisitions to date, just after its purchase of LinkedIn in 2016 for $ 26.2 billion.

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