EXCLUSIVE Microsoft’s $ 16 billion Nuance offer set for EU antitrust approval – sources

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BRUSSELS, Dec.10 (Reuters) – Microsoft (MSFT.O) is set to secure unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $ 16 billion bid for artificial intelligence and voice technology company Nuance Communications ( NUAN.O), three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. .

The latest tech deal, Microsoft’s second after its $ 26.2 billion purchase on LinkedIn in 2016, follows increased regulatory scrutiny of “murderous acquisitions” in which tech giants buy and shut down startups. nascent ups and potential competitors.

Microsoft announced the Nuance deal, which would strengthen its presence in cloud services for healthcare, in April and it has already received regulatory approval in the US and Australia, with no remedy given. Read more

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Known for its pioneering voice technology and for helping launch Apple’s virtual assistant Siri (AAPL.O), Nuance serves 77% of US hospitals.

The European Commission, which is due to vote on Microsoft’s planned purchase of Nuance by Dec. 21, declined to comment. Microsoft declined to comment.

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California, the United States, on November 7, 2017. REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson / File Photo / File Photo

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Microsoft has also entered preliminary discussions with UK antitrust agency CMA ahead of a formal request for approval of the Nuance deal, the sources said. The company’s request is expected to be filed in January, they added.

A spokesperson for the AMC said she was not speculating on which cases she might investigate. Its website does not list Microsoft’s proposed Nuance buyout as the one it is reviewing.

Last month, the European Commission asked customers and competitors to raise concerns about the deal, such as whether Microsoft might favor Nuance over competitors or unfairly bundle its offerings, Reuters exclusively reported on Tuesday.

The awareness was most extensive by an antitrust authority reviewing the deal, a source said. L1N2SO0AR

Tech companies have stepped up acquisitions of AI-driven companies in an attempt to stay ahead of their competition by further integrating this technology into their products and services.

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Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Paresh Dave in San Francisco and Kate Holton in London; Editing by Jason Neely, Barbara Lewis and Alexander Smith

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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