Microsoft is in talks to acquire Nuance Communications, a company specializing in voice recognition technologies used by Apple for the Siri assistant.
According to the latest rumors, Microsoft is ready to put around $ 16 billion on the table to acquire Nuance Communications. The price quoted for Nuance is around $ 56 per share, with a 23% premium over last Friday’s closing price. An acquisition of Nuance would be Microsoft’s second-largest purchase, following the $ 24 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016.
This acquisition could have significant implications for Apple, due to its partnership with Nuance behind Siri. Apple used Nuance’s speech recognition engine to enable its digital assistant to listen to and understand user requests. If the transaction were confirmed, it is not yet clear what the repercussions for Apple and Siri would be in the immediate future. Since 2013, Nuance’s technology has been at the heart of Siri’s speech recognition, so things could change in 2021 as a result of this acquisition as well.
The deal could prompt Apple to invest even more in research and development on voice recognition, to allow Siri to operate without any dependence on third-party vendors.