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UK Antitrust Watchdog To Probe Microsoft’s $16B Nuance Deal

 |  December 13, 2021

On Monday UK’s antitrust regulator said it will look into Microsoft’s  $16 billion purchase of artificial intelligence and speech technology firm Nuance Communications.

According to Reuters, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has been stepping up its regulation of Big Tech, said it was considering if the deal would result in lesser competition in the UK market.

Microsoft announced it would buy Nuance in April to boost its presence in cloud services for healthcare. The deal has already received regulatory approval in the United States and Australia, without remedies given.

Related: EU Set To OK Microsoft’s $16B Nuance Bid

Reuters reported last week the deal, which will be Microsoft’s second biggest after its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016, was set to secure unconditional EU antitrust approval.

Microsoft has also been in preliminary talks with the CMA ahead of a formal request for approval of the Nuance deal, the sources had said.

The transaction, which was expected to close this year, would be Microsoft’s second-largest deal, following the software giant’s $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance has about 7,100 employees, more than half of whom are outside the US.

British regulators have stepped up scrutiny of tech-related acquisitions. Last month, the competition authority ordered Facebook to undo its purchase of Giphy and sell off the GIF-sharing platform because it found the deal stifles competition for animated images and hurts social media users and advertisers.