Microsoft announced Monday that it will buy speech recognition company Nuance Communications for $16 billion, the tech giant's largest acquisition since it bought LinkedIn for more than $26 billion in 2016.
Nuance would be aligned with the part of Microsoft’s business that serves businesses and governments. Nuance derives revenue by selling tools for recognizing and transcribing speech in doctor’s visits, customer-service calls and voicemails.
The company reported $7 million in net income on about $346 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020, with revenue declining 4 percent on an annualized basis. Nuance was founded in 1992, and had 7,100 employees as of September 2020.
In its announcement Monday, Microsoft said Nuance’s technology will be used to augment Microsoft’s cloud products for health care, which were launched last year.