The European Commission on Tuesday granted Microsoft unconditional approval for its purchase of Nuance, an artificial intelligence and cloud computing company.
(Sign up to our Technology newsletter, Today's Cache, for insights on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, business and policy. Click here to subscribe for free.)
EU’s clearance comes at a time when the bloc is preparing rules to put limits on tech giants for buying out rivals.
The commission said the $19.7 billion buyout would raise no competition concerns in transcription software, cloud services, and PC operating systems markets in the European Economic Area. The deal has already received a green light in the United States and Australia.
The Nuance deal is Microsoft’s second-biggest after its $26.2 billion LinkedIn buyout in 2016. Nuance, headquartered and primarily active in the US, offers software products that are used extensively in hospitals across the US.
With this deal, Microsoft aims to boost its presence in healthcare cloud services and telemedicine, which has seen growth since the coronavirus pandemic.
During its investigation, the EU found that Microsoft and Nuance offer very different products and the combined entity will continue to face strong competition from other players.
Further, the investigation showed that transcription service providers in healthcare do not depend on Microsoft for cloud computing services and transcription service providers in the healthcare sector are not particularly important users of cloud computing services.