The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose Microsoft’s acquisition of speech recognition and transcription software provider Nuance, announced earlier this year.
ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said the two companies do not compete directly in healthcare transcription software because Microsoft does not already have the same offerings.
“Microsoft does not currently provide this specialized technology, and it seems unlikely that it will become a serious competitor to Nuance,” Ridgeway said. “It is therefore unlikely that this transaction will significantly reduce competition in the medical transcription market. “
Microsoft announced in April this year that it was paying US $ 19.7 billion to acquire Nuance, a specialist in voice recognition and transcription software and customer engagement software. It was the company’s second-largest acquisition at the time after buying LinkedIn in 2016 for $ 26.2 billion.
The ACCC said its investigation found that healthcare transcription products are currently not widely used in Australia, but Nuance faces competition from other vendors and could also find itself in competition with other providers. other large tech companies looking to expand into healthcare.
“We have found that there is strong competition in customer engagement solutions. There are several alternatives comparable to Nuance, and the barriers to entry are not high, ”Ridgeway added.
The regulator said the deal would not allow Microsoft to prevent Nuance or its competitors from competing effectively.
“Microsoft provides customer relationship management, productivity, video conferencing and cloud computing software compatible with Nuance products. However, if Microsoft tried to limit the access of Nuance’s competitors to Microsoft products, they could easily switch to other vendors or reach customers through other means, ”Ridgeway said.
“At the same time, Microsoft would have no incentive to limit its competitors’ access to Nuance’s medical transcription software, as the medical transcription market is very small compared to the key markets in which Microsoft competes.
“The ACCC will continue to be very attentive to acquisitions of large technology companies. There has been a tendency to buy from potential competitive threats that ACCC has recently expressed concerns about, but this transaction is not of concern to ACCC. “