Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

EU regulators say they'll probe Apple's acquisition of Shazam

EU regulators to assess Apple's purchase of British music app Shazam EU regulators to assess Apple's purchase of British music app Shazam
Pete Mitchell | 08 February, 2018, 00:25

The Shazam app uses the microphone on a smartphone or computer to identify nearly any song playing nearby, points users to places where it may be available for the listening pleasure such as Apple Music or Spotify Ltd.

The outcome of the European Commission's investigation will be made public in the next few months, once the investigation has been completed. It did not disclose the price-tag for the deal but sources suggest it's paying in the region of $400 million.

In this case, Apple registered the merger in Austria, which asked the commission to get involved.

The European Union's competition watchdog said Tuesday that it is opening an investigation into Apple Inc.'s planned purchase of music recognition service Shazam Entertainment Ltd., even though the transaction didn't reach the bloc's minimum thresholds, after several countries asked for the deal to be reviewed. Subsequently, Iceland, Italy, France, Norway, Spain, and Sweden joined the request.

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The goal is to investigate how much Apple's acquisition of Shazam could hurt local competing services in Europe and whether or not such a merger would be allowed under European law. Austria submitted then a referral request to the Commission pursuant to Article 22 (1) of the EU Merger Regulation.

Seven European countries have called for a regulatory review of the deal.

They also add, "The Commission has also concluded that it is the best placed authority to deal with the potential cross-border effects of the transaction". If that occurred, Apple could offer remedies to the EC to address said concerns. Once in Apple's ownership, it might not want to promote its rivals in that way and, equally, its rivals might not want the tech giant knowing how many Shazammers are clicking through to their services.

Apple announced that it would buy the platform, which searches for and identifies songs by listening to a segment of any music, in December 2017.

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