June 16, 2014
Nuance Communications has held discussions with potential suitors regarding a sale of the company. One of those suitors is Samsung, according to The Wall Street Journal. People "familiar with the matter" have said Nuance has talked to Samsung and private-equity firms about a possible sale. It isn't clear how far into the discussions the meetings have gone. Nuance, which is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, provides speech recognition software across multiple devices and platforms. In May 2013, they admitted to being the “fundamental provider” of voice recognition technology for Apple's voice recognition service, Siri. Last July, Xconomy said Apple had assembled a speech technology team made up of former VoiceSignal Technologies employees, a speech software company that was purchased by Nuance in 2007. At the time, the creation of a Boston-based speech technology team suggested that Apple was looking to rely less on Nuance in the future to provide “Siri’s guts.” In September, the New York Post speculated that billionaire investor Carl Icahn was “looking to act as a matchmaker between” Apple and Nuance. Icahn holds a stake in both companies.