Published: Tue, April 24, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

European Commission opens in-depth investigation of Apple-Shazam deal

European Commission opens in-depth investigation of Apple-Shazam deal

Music recognition applications allow consumers to recognise music based on a short audio sample by using microphones built into their mobile devices.

Apple Inc. has once again found itself in the crosshairs of the European Union's antitrust regulator. In other words, "competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage", the commission said in a statement.

In its announcement about the move, the Commission said the investigation was prompted by concern that the merger "could reduce choice for users of music streaming services".

The commission is particularly concerned that Apple will be able to access "commercially sensitive data" from Shazam customers who also use rival music services, which Apple might use to its advantage.

Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users.

Investigators will be digging into the case for the 90 working days and, based on the evidence gathered, the commission will either approve or deny the acquisition on or before September 4.

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The European Commission's involvement follows seven countries including Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden deferring to the regulatory group to make a decision on Apple's purchase of Shazam.

The main question is what Apple might do with the existing referral data garnered from user-service directories that have taken place.

Regulators in Europe worry the deal would give Apple data that could be used to lure customers away from rival streaming services.

Apple said in December that it would buy Shazam, the song-recognition service that has been a mainstay on people's smartphones for years with its ability to name a track after listening for a few seconds.

Shazam has accumulated more than one billion downloads around the world, per CNN Money.

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