Friday, June 06, 2003

Antitrust News: A Merger is Cleared

From the Associated Press:
ScanSoft Inc.'s $132 million acquisition of SpeechWorks International Inc. received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Justice Department, the company said Friday.

Shares of both companies rose on the news.

ScanSoft shares traded at $6.16, up 26 cents, or 4 percent, Friday morning on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

SpeechWorks shares traded at $5.17, up 25 cents, or 5 percent, Friday morning on the Nasdaq.

ScanSoft said the deal must still be approved by shareholders of both companies, who will vote at special meetings after the registration statement filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The acquisition has already received unanimous approval from both companies' boards, and ScanSoft said it expects the deal to close sometime in August.

ScanSoft, based in Peabody, Mass., makes software that scans paper documents and turns them into digital computer files. Its acquisition of SpeechWorks, which makes speech recognition and text-to-speech programs, will add to SpeechWorks line of voice-related programs.
ScanSoft had to pay a $125,000 "filing fee" with the Justice Department in order to obtain consideration and clearance for their acquisition of SpeechWorks. That's in addition to the thousands of dollars in legal costs and man-hours spent actually preparing and filing the forms. All so the government could say they weren't violating the law.

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