Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is in ‘advanced’ talks to buy Nuance Communications Inc., an AI firm with which it has partnered in the past around healthcare. Microsoft could pay $16 billion or so for the Burlington, Mass.-based company if the deal comes to fruition, making Nuance Microsoft’s second largest acquisition in history.
Nuance also “laid the groundwork” for the technology powering Apple’s Siri voice software, Bloomberg noted in its April 11 report on the possible acquisition. The talks between the two companies are “ongoing,” according to the report and not finalized.
Nuance works with a variety of partners in a variety of vertical markets. It sells products tailored for the healthcare, omni-channel customer engagement markets, as well as its Dragon speech recognition technology for consumers and enterprise customers.
In 2019, Nuance and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to deliver ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) technologies. The two said they’d work together on combining the Dragon Medical platform with Azure, Azure AI services and ProjectEmpowerMD intelligent-scribe service, along with various other conversational AI technologies developed by the two companies. Last fall, the two companies said Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience ACI solution had been integrated with Microsoft Teams.
I’ve asked for Microsoft for comment on the possibility of a Nuance acquisition but have not heard back yet.