In April Microsoft started the process of acquiring Nuance Communications for about $19.7 billion and today Reuters reports that the SEC has not raised any objections to the deal proceeding. The approval “satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the merger,” noted Nuance in a regulatory filing.

The approval does not mean the deal has closed yet, as there are other agencies involved, and Microsoft has previously said they expect the deal to undergoing regulatory reviews in other jurisdictions and was only intending to close at the end of 2021.

The Nuance deal is expected to bolster Microsoft’s presence in healthcare, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella saying:

“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI. AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Nuance.”

When the deal closes Mark Benjamin will remain CEO of Nuance and he will be reporting to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud & AI at Microsoft.

Here’s why Microsoft is acquiring Nuance:

  • Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance builds upon the successful existing partnership between the companies that was announced in 2019.
  • By augmenting the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare with Nuance’s solutions, as well as the benefit of Nuance’s expertise and relationships with EHR systems providers, Microsoft will be better able to empower healthcare providers through the power of ambient clinical intelligence and other Microsoft cloud services.
  • The acquisition will double Microsoft’s total addressable market (TAM) in the healthcare provider space, bringing the company’s TAM in healthcare to nearly $500 billion.
  • Nuance and Microsoft will deepen their existing commitments to the extended partner ecosystem, as well as the highest standards of data privacy, security and compliance.
  • Beyond healthcare, Nuance provides AI expertise and customer engagement solutions across Interactive Voice Response (IVR), virtual assistants, and digital and biometric solutions to companies around the world across all industries.
  • This expertise will come together with the breadth and depth of Microsoft’s cloud, including Azure, Teams, and Dynamics 365, to deliver next-generation customer engagement and security solutions.
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