Carl Icahn was on the prowl again, and this time he found himself investing in a 9.3 percent stake in Nuance Communication (NASDAQ:NUAN) — the company suspected to be behind the technology for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri.
Icahn’s investment was made known Monday in a filing by the billionaire investor. The short-term impact of his investment was a quick boost for the company’s shares. Its stock had dipped sharply in the middle of February from over $24 per share to less than $19 per share. After working its way back up to just over $20 per share, Icahn’s investment helped push it up 7.9 percent to a height of $21.77 Tuesday morning.
While the short term effects are one thing, the long term impact of a Icahn’s more than $591 million investment could show up in the advancement of Nuance’s choice technology field: voice-recognition technology.
When Apple launched the iPhone 4S with its voice assistant, Siri, on board, Apple had a selling point that not a lot of other company’s had. But, many competitors are now chasing down their own voice-recognition technologies…
Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are both after similar technologies. Yahoo spent $30 million to acquire the news app Summly, which “which uses a genetic algorithm to mimic how a human actually thinks,” according to the companies founder and chief executive officer Marissa Mayer. For its part, Google is working on developing its own technology involving “intelligent computers.”
Icahn’s investment in Nuance was for a passive stake, so he will not be engaging in management of the company, which struggled through a technology shift by its health-industry customers in February. Nonetheless, the investment could help the company and shine a light on this technology in general.
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