UK competition watchdog has given Microsoft’s $19.7bn (£13.9bn) acquisition of Nuance Communications the green light this morning, stating that it did “not give rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition”.
Tech giant Microsoft snapped up the US-headquartered software firm last April in a push to advance its software capabilities.
Nuance offers voice recognition and transcription software, with healthcare and enterprise as its two main business units.
Despite both firms being based across the Atlantic, The Competition Markets Authority was able to investigate the hefty deal on the basis that a Nuance merger would lead to a combined share of more than 25 per cent in the supply of software that enables users with accessibility needs to command and control their personal computer and its applications using their voice.
Although the CMA found that Nuance holds a “strong position in the supply of healthcare transcription software”, the watchdog stated in its findings: “Based on the available evidence, the CMA does not believe that the Merged Entity would have the ability to foreclose Microsoft’s rivals.”
“In particular, the CMA considers that the Merged Entity would not be able to foreclose rivals by bundling patient administration tools, patient engagement tools, or remote healthcare tools with healthcare transcription software”, it added.
It ultimately said that the combined offering of the two companies was unlikely to cause a “substantial lessening of competition in the UK in relation to conglomerate effects”, and would not be taking the investigation any further.