EU clears Microsoft buyout of telemedicine-oriented Nuance

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The EU on Tuesday cleared Microsoft's purchase of artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Nuance, one of the biggest transactions in the fast-growing telemedicine sector.

The bloc's powerful antitrust authority said the $19.7 billion buyout posed no competition concerns in the European Union.

After an investigation, the European Commission said that "the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns on any of the markets examined" and that it "cleared the case unconditionally".

The European greenlight came as the EU is preparing new rules that would put tighter limits on the ability of tech giants, including Microsoft, to buy out rivals.

Nuance's technology is used extensively in and is currently employed in more than three-quarters of US hospitals.

This acquisition builds on the existing partnership between the two companies, which have been collaborating since 2019 in telemedicine, a sector whose growth has been spurred exponentially by COVID-19 lockdowns around the world.

The deal comes on the heels of Microsoft's 2016 purchase of LinkedIn for $27 billion and represents "the latest step in Microsoft's industry-specific cloud strategy," the company said.

© 2021 AFP

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