European Union regulators to probe Apple's acquisition of music app Shazam

by Lawrence Cooper April 24, 2018, 9:17
European Union regulators to probe Apple's acquisition of music app Shazam

Back in December, Apple announced its intention to purchase Shazam, affirming both companies "share a passion for music discovery".

And in case you've forgotten, some European regulators were a teensy bit anxious that Apple + Shazam might adversely affect competition, unfairly giving Apple Music a leg up on other music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Tidal. Shazam, which "listens" to audio playing in an ambient environment and identifies it for users, would likely be integrated into Apple's streaming-music service Apple Music for that feature.

The European Commission sets a September 4 deadline for deciding whether Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) acquisition of Shazam clears antitrust concerns. Such data could theoretically be used to target those customers and coax them into using Apple Music instead of whichever service they prefer.

The Commission says it is concerned the merger 'could reduce choice for users of music streaming services'.

It seems the request has finally been granted - the European Union has officially opened an "in-depth investigation" into Apple's acquisition of Shazam.

Apple did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the European Commission's decision. Shazam is based out of the UK. Shazam already presents users with links to Apple's iTunes download store to buy songs where links to the iPhone maker's music download service generates revenue for Shazam.

Seven countries including France, Italy and Spain had asked the European Commission to review the deal.

Broadcom and Qualcomm might not be the only companies to have a merger squashed due to anti-competitive fears from government officials.

More information on the transaction will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8788.


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