EU Has 'Issues' With Apple's Shazam Acquisition

24 April, 2018, 05:33 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Shazam Iphone

Apple announced the deal with London-based Shazam, worth a reported $400 million, in December previous year in a fresh bid to secure an edge in the intensifying battle of streaming services in which Sweden-based Spotify dominates.

The Siri feature available on iOS devices can already recognize songs, but there are other competitive reasons why Apple might want to acquire Shazam, and why the European Union would be concerned about such a merger.

Several countries called for an assessment under the EU Merger Regulation, including Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.

Apple announced it would buy Shazam in December, with various news outlets pegging the price at $400 million.

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"The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services", Margrethe Vestager, the EU's head competition commissioner, said in a statement.

The European Commission said it will investigate whether Apple could hurt rival music services by referring Shazam users to iTunes and not others.

The regulators also noted concern over the potential for Apple to remove referral links to other music streaming services in its app.

The European Commission has until September 4 to make a final decision on whether to block or approve the deal, or seek concessions from Apple.

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Apple hadn't responded to a request for comment from FOX Business at the time of publication. The question there is if Apple Music would obtain an unfair competitive advantage with data from the United Kingdom firm it wishes to take over.

The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation, saying that the deal could give access to data allowing Apple to target customers using competitors, and encourage them to switch.

Those rivals include Spotify, the global market leader.

However, Shazam had been valued at around $1bn in its last major funding round, suggesting it was no small move by Apple. Shazam has also been experimenting with augmented reality (AR).

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