Microsoft to buy AI firm Nuance in $19.7B deal to expand health offerings

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Microsoft will buy speech recognition company Nuance Communications in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, including debt assumption, the company announced April 12. 

Microsoft said Nuance's technology will be used to expand its healthcare offerings for its cloud products. Nuance currently sells tools for recognizing and transcribing speech in physician visits, voicemails and more.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both Nuance and Microsoft. Microsoft said the deal is expected to close by the end of this year. The transaction is subject to approval by Nuance's shareholders, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The deal is the latest sign Microsoft is hunting for more growth through acquisitions, according to NBC. It is Microsoft's largest acquisition since it bought LinkedIn for more than $26 billion in 2016. 

Nuance is well known for its voice recognition technology and has been a potential acquisition target for Big Tech companies like Apple and Microsoft for several years, according to CNBC.

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