IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

UK antitrust regulator to probe Microsoft's Nuance takeover

The CMA says it will assess whether the merger is worthy of a full investigation

Microsoft's $19.7 billion acquisition of speech-to-text specialist Nuance is to be scrutinised by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). 

The antitrust regulator said on Monday that it will take an initial look into the deal to assess whether a full investigation is needed. 

A consultation period is now open, with the CMA inviting interested parties to comment on the matter. The consultation runs until 10 January 2022 and will likely lead to a delay in the transaction or, potentially, a complete cancellation. 

The CMA will consider whether the proposed transaction will affect the wider market and, if so, whether it will substantially lessen competition within the UK. The regulator will look to invoke the Enterprise Act 2002 if they deem it worthy of investigation. 

Nuance is a US firm based just outside of Boston so any investigation by the UK's CMA will be on the grounds of public interest.

Crucially, the UK government is able to intervene on special public interest grounds in any transaction that meets all the requirements for a "relevant merger situation".

According to UK law, there are two situations where this arises: if two or more enterprises cease to be distinct, or will cease to be distinct, as a result of being brought under common ownership or control. 

Related Resource

Content syndication isn't dead, but your data processes might be

It's a new (lead) generation

Drawn image in white of a figure with a graph arrow on the up and a dollar sign over a photo of metal cogsFree Download

A deal for Nuance was announced in April and the cost of the transaction is potentially Microsoft's biggest since it brought LinkedIn. The company is a specialist in artificial intelligence, particularly with audio recognition and transcription tools.

At the time, it was suggested that Microsoft would use the deal as a way of expanding into the markets Nuance has a presence in, such as healthcare. 

The healthcare market has been a prime investment area for the tech giants over the last few years, with the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google and even Facebook all showing interest in building tools to support health. 

Featured Resources

Join the 90% of enterprises accelerating to the cloud

Business transformation through digital modernisation

Free Download

Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT

A modern digital workplace strategy

Free download

Modernise the workforce experience

Actionable insights and an optimised experience for both IT and end users

Free Download

The digital workplace roadmap

A leader's guide to strategy and success

Free Download

Most Popular

Actively exploited server backdoor remains undetected in most organisations' networks
cyber attacks

Actively exploited server backdoor remains undetected in most organisations' networks

1 Jul 2022
Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Why India wants to become a chipmaking powerhouse
components

Why India wants to become a chipmaking powerhouse

28 Jun 2022