European Union investigators to investigate Apple's bid for Shazam

European Union investigators to investigate Apple's bid for Shazam

European Union investigators to investigate Apple's bid for Shazam

European Union antitrust regulators opened an investigation on Monday into Apple's bid for British music discovery app Shazam, concerned the deal might give the iPhone maker an unfair advantage in poaching users from its rivals, Reuters reports.

"The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services", UE commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a prepared statement.

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The Commission is also concerned referrals to other streaming music providers via Shazam would come to an end after the merger with Apple. Shazam lets users identify songs by pointing a smartphone at the audio source. "As a result, competing music streaming services could be put at a competitive disadvantage". With that data, the Commission posits, Apple might be able to directly target its competitors' customers and lure them over to Apple Music.

The Commission's primary concern is that Shazam would give Apple access to commercially sensitive data about the customers of its competitors in the European Economic Area.

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Apple could impose its own restrictions to appease regulators, like promising fair access to the Shazam app. The regulator will conclude its initial investigation by September 4th, meaning that at the very least, the deal will be held up by several months.

Apple announced in December 2017 that it meant to purchase Shazam for a rumored $400 million.

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