Microsoft Corp is in advanced talks to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications Inc at about $16 billion, as reported by Reuters.

According to a CNBC report citing sources on Sunday, Microsoft first approached Nuance in December last year. At about $56 per share for Nuance, the acquisition value could be nearly $16 billion.

At $16 billion, Nuance would be Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition after LinkedIn that the company bought in 2016 for $27 billion. According to the report, Nuance could expand Microsoft’s capabilities in voice software.

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ScanSoft was a Xerox spin-off that was bought in 1999 by Visioneer, a hardware and software scanner company, which adopted ScanSoft as the new merged company name.

Today, Nuance leads innovation in conversational AI, making intuitive, award-winning technology that adapts to each business and every unique situation.

The company reported $7 million in net income ($346 million in revenue) for its first quarter that ended December 31, 2020.

“We continued to advance our strategic initiatives, accelerating our cloud transition across our core platforms in Healthcare and focusing on our AI-first approach in Enterprise. In Healthcare, we saw solid performance in our cloud-based offerings, growing cloud revenue 28 per cent year-over-year,” said Mark Benjamin, CEO at Nuance.

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