EC unconditionally clears Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance

Cristina Caffarra

On 21 December 2021, the European Commission unconditionally cleared Microsoft’s $19.7bn acquisition of Nuance, global provider of speech recognition AI specialised in the healthcare sector. The Commission investigated the horizontal overlap between the parties in transcription software, several vertical and conglomerate links between the parties’ products, as well as whether access to Nuance data may allow Microsoft to distort competition to the detriment of competing healthcare software providers. The Commission concluded that none of those theories of harm raise competition concerns: the merged entity would continue to face intense competition in the market, and would not be in a position to exclude or marginalise competing providers.

A CRA team including Cristina Caffarra, Luca Di Martile, and Matteo Foschi advised Microsoft and Nuance. The Commission’s decision follows the clearances in the US and in Australia.

The European Commission’s press release can be found here.