Microsoft Said to Be in Talks to Buy AI Firm Nuance Communications for About $16 Billion


Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications at about $16 billion (roughly Rs. 1,20,000 crores), according to a source familiar with the matter.

The price being discussed could value Nuance at about $56 (roughly Rs. 4,200) a share, the source said, adding that an agreement could be announced as soon as Monday.

Bloomberg News, which first reported the deal between Nuance and Microsoft, said talks are ongoing and the discussions could still fall apart.

Burlington, Massachusetts, US-based Nuance whose voice recognition technology helped launch Apple’s assistant Siri, makes software for sectors ranging from healthcare to the automotive industries.

Microsoft and Nuance did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The deal with Nuance would be Microsoft’s second-biggest deal, after its $26.2 billion (roughly Rs. 1,96,500 crores) acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016.

Late last week, LinkedIn became victim to a massive data breach and data of over 500 million of its users has been scraped from the platform and posted online for sale. The dataset includes sensitive information like email addresses, phone numbers, workplace information, full names, account IDs, links to their social media accounts, and gender details. The breached data is reportedly being sold by an unknown user on a hacker forum, who has dumped data of over two million users as sample proof. The hacker is asking for a four-digit amount (in USD) in exchange for the breached data, potentially in the form of Bitcoins. This came just days after a similarly massive leak of scraped data from over 500 million Facebook users was leaked.

A LinkedIn spokesperson said in a statement, “While we’re still investigating this issue, the posted dataset appears to include publicly viewable information that was scraped from LinkedIn combined with data aggregated from other websites or companies. Scraping our members’ data from LinkedIn violates our terms of service and we are constantly working to protect our members and their data”. The data includes sensitive information like phone number, email ID, workplace information, and even links to their social media accounts.

Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.


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